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Environmental Stewardship

environmental stewardship

Environmental stewardship applied research at Olds College of Agriculture & Technology focuses on five main areas of innovation: 

  • Surface water quality remediation.
  • Agricultural climate change management practices (mitigation and adaptation).
  • By-product development and utilization (zero waste agricultural sustainability strategy).
  • Co-production of agricultural commodities and renewable energy in the same space.
  • Agriculture land stewardship considerations such as re-establishing shelterbelts and eco-buffers (green infrastructure).

Olds College is most active in water quality remediation applied research due to fresh water fast-becoming a limited resource across the prairies and around the world. Researchers are specifically assessing low-cost, but highly effective, water treatment technologies.

Environmental stewardship comes in many forms and plays a pivotal role in almost every applied research project implemented on the Smart Farm.

Highlights of Environmental Stewardship Projects:

With investments from provincial and federal grant funding agencies, private industry, producers, and agricultural and non-agricultural organizations, the College has been working on industrial and agricultural water quality remediation research. 

Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI) is focused on finding natural and sustainable ways to produce high-quality recycled water. After the successful completion of insightful and controlled greenhouse trials, OCCI researchers have progressed to the implementation of a real-world, four-year environmental study titled Floating Island Technology for Livestock Water Remediation. 

This research study aims to provide producers with a sustainable, low-cost, water treatment technology that can improve feedlot runoff water quality for subsequent use as uncontaminated livestock drinking water, or for irrigation of fresh agricultural produce.

Remediation of Contaminated Water from a Livestock Farm Using Floating Island Technology and Native Wetland Plants (Phase 2)


Similar native wetland plant species were used to treat feedlot runoff water in a greenhouse study. The contaminated water was expected to contain excessive nutrients, heavy metals and other contaminants. Performance of native plant species was mixed with some plant species removing up to 84% of phosphorus and 45% of potassium. Concentrations of nitrogen and heavy metals in the stored feedlot runoff water were undetectable.

Funders/Partners: Alberta Real Estate Foundation, Highfield Investment Group Inc., High Plains Industrial Park, Tannas Conservation Services, GP Restorations Ltd.

Use of Native Wetland Plants on Floating Island Systems for the Phyto-Remediation of Water with Excess Nutrients (Phase 1)


This project examined the effectiveness of select native wetland species in removing excessive, synthetic plant nutrients — namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — from contaminated potable water in a greenhouse study. All select plant species performed well by removing and retaining 6.4% to 84.9% of the excessive nutrients or contaminants from the water. 

Funders/Partners: Alberta Real Estate Foundation, Highfield Investment Group Inc., High Plains Industrial Park, Tannas Conservation Services, GP Restorations Ltd.

Team Members
Ike Edeogu headshot

Ike Edeogu

Research Manager

Krista Pick headshot

Krista Pick

Research Technician


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