Program

The 2016-17 MWS Cohort (from left): Nicholas Phelan, Carley Coccola, associate professor and MWS director Andrew Ireson, Maggie Norris, Alannah Grande, Kaitlyn Bell, Herbert Mkandla,

The Master of Water Security (MWS) is for the prospective student that wants to study in one of the strongest water security research communities in North America. This cross-disciplinary, project and course-based master's degree trains students to investigate concerns such as drought, climate change, flooding and water quality using a holistic approach that incorporates not only the sciences, but also the study of social dynamics and public policy.

Incoming students choose among three specialized tracks: hydrology, hydrogeology and socio-hydrology. While the first two tracks study the surface water and the groundwater cycles respectively, socio-hydrology studies the dynamics between human use, control, value and culture related to water and its place in the global community. 

The MWS is a joint initiative between SENS and the Global Institute for Water Security. GIWS is a world-leading centre focused on research that addresses issues such as climate change and water resources, flooding and drought and the social and policy environment surrounding water management. It is led by world-renowned hydrologists and SENS faculty members Howard Wheater and Jeffrey McDonnell, and includes faculty expertise that spans the fields of hillslope and watershed hydrology; ecology and lake biogeochemistry; water quality; groundwater resource management; First Nations water and health; and, water resource management and planning. GIWS is also home to the $140 million Global Water Futures program. 

Tracks

This track focuses on the surface water cycle and the availability, distribution, movement, quality and quantity of water. Particular attention is paid to water resources management, modelling and planning in an era of climate change. 

Please refer to the course calendar for the hydrology stream requirements. 

John Pomeroy, director of the Global Water Futures program at the Global Institute for Water Security and Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, discusses the long history of hydrology research innovation at the University of Saskatchewan and its application to understanding prairie processes such as snow melt, flooding and drought.

This track focuses on the distribution and movement of groundwater. Students choose from a variety of courses examining groundwater and its properties from a geochemistry, engineering or soil science perspective.

Please refer to the course calendar for the hydrogeology stream requirements. 

This track studies the dynamics between human use, control, value and culture related to water and its place in the global community. It offers courses centered on health, community, Indigenous peoples and policy.

Please refer to the course calendar for the sociohydrology stream requirements. 

What is socio-hydrology? Learn about the work going on at the Global Institute for Water Security to integrate people and their activities into water science to lead to better decision-making.

Project

MWS students must complete a research project as part of their degree requirements to foster project management and critical thinking skills. The project provides an opportunity for students to investigate applied topics in water security. They are interdisciplinary in scope and may include scientific, technical, social, economic, cultural, institutional or other appropriate attributes of water security challenges.

The project engages students in active, hands-on learning by having individuals work with a partner organization. These partners include non-profit and charitable organizations, municipal and provincial governments, and crown corporations. If students already have a partner in industry or the consulting sector and wish to gain practical experience by partnering with them, this option may also be available. Students work with the partner organization for a 250-hour placement from May to July.

Tuition and Scholarship

Tuition rates for the 2017-2018 MWS program are listed here, under the heading "Programs with Special Tuition Rates".

In addition, students are required to pay these applicable student fees.  Students who do not complete the MWS program in a 12-month period will continue to pay tuition at the regular rate until the degree is complete.

Additional Fees: ENVS 806 (Field Skills in Environment and Sustainability) has an additional fee of $400 CDN plus GST to cover the field component of the class. This fee is subject to change by year. Payable when tuition is due. 

Applicants who receive admission to the MWS program are required to submit a deposit of $500 CDN to hold their spot in the limited capacity program. Successful applicants will receive a notice of acceptance and must mail the completed notice with a $500 CDN money order made payable to the University of Saskatchewan. The notice of acceptance and the money order must be received by SENS by the deadline specified in the letter or this offer will automatically lapse. The $500 deposit will be applied as partial payment of tuition fees at the time of registration and is non-refundable if a student subsequently decides not to enter the MWS program.

Scholarships

There are minimal scholarships available for professional program students. Applicants will be assessed for scholarship funding based on merit. 

Visit grad.usask.ca for more information. 

Applications

ENVS 806.3: Field Skills in Environment and Sustainability

The MWS students visit the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation water treatment plant, September 2017.

This core course of the MWS program exposes students to field methods in water security-related subjects, including hydrology, environmental science, water resources management, water and communities, and water and health. The course learning objectives include fundamentals of hydrology, fundamentals of social engagement, field skills in hydrology, and data collection and management.

In Fall 2017, the course involved the following: 

  • Visited Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation to learn about floods and droughts, drainage issues, water treatment and distribution issues, and First Nation water governance. The trip was hosted by Brenda and Brian Seesequasis (Director of Lands, Beardy’s and Okemasis Band).
  • Visited the Saskatoon Water Treatment Plant for a tour.
  • Conducted two hydrological experiments at the U of S Mine Overlay Site Testing Facility involving rain runoff and evaporation.
  • Preformed a social engagement activity at Petrofka Orchard and Laird, SK led by Thomas Abe with the North Saskatchewan River Basin Council. Students learned about the issues faced in small communities with regards to source water protection, water resource management, and treatment and distribution. 
  • The final two days of the field course were spent at the Hannin Creek Field Camp near Candle Lake, SK, which is a camp run by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. There, they learnt a variety of field techniques including stream and groundwater monitoring and hydro-meteorological observations. 

MWS News

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