CentrEau, the Quebec Water Management Research Centre, is a Quebec cluster of water experts. It brings together researchers and graduate students from 12 different institutions. It is financed by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) as part of the Strategic Clusters program.


CentrEau brings together and coordinates the driving forces in research and innovation in Quebec to develop and transfer scientific knowledge to improve the management and governance of inland waters1. CentrEau offers a rewarding, diverse and inclusive training and career development framework.

1  Inland waters: All surface water and groundwater that are inland, not seas nor oceans.


CentrEau is the Quebec reference in the creation and mobilization of knowledge about continental water so that, through responsible use, it remains available for future generations.

Organizational values

  • Collaboration: The many facets of water management require bringing together experts from diverse backgrounds. CentrEau's actions are driven by openness, collegiality, solidarity and inclusion, and are based on the sharing of knowledge, resources and information.
  • Responsible Commitment: CentrEau ensures that all members are committed to and act ethically and responsibly in achieving the mission of the organization.
  • Creativity: Innovation comes from the creativity of researchers. CentrEau provides a framework for the development of sustainable solutions to water issues.
  • Excellence: CentrEau encourages and values excellence and leadership in all aspects of the cluster, from co-creation of projects to dissemination of the resulting knowledge.

Added value of CentrEau

CentrEau, as an inclusive cluster, stimulates collaboration between its members on large-scale projects by offering an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and intersectoral networking space. It facilitates access to data and the sharing of research infrastructures. It promotes the work of its members. It creates a place for exchange with users and research actors and, through the transversality of its research axes, offers complementarity with other research groups. Thanks to these collaborations and programs, it offers an environment conducive to the multi-skilled training of the next generation of faculty, students and research personnel (also called "highly qualified personnel" (HQP), which includes both graduate students and technical and research personnel).

CentrEau offers to academia an access to a pool of qualified specialists and the opportunity to get involved in major projects, as well as to participate in workshops and other activities.

CentrEau provides water professionals and its municipal, government and industry partners with access to a pool of scientific knowledge to help them address the issues they face. 

CentrEau provides civil society with accessible and verified knowledge to ensure its democratization and use.


The CENTREAU was first created November 13, 1969, at Université Laval as the Centre de recherches sur l'eau (CENTREAU). With a grant by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources - Canada, CENTREAU quickly took off and contributed to the expansion of water research at Université Laval as well as to the training of water professionals. In 1971, the centre already had 42 research members. The CENTREAU was already, at the time, an interdisciplinary centre which tackled natural sciences as well as social sciences and had a desire to search for solutions to problems in developing countries. In 1976, the Cahiers de CENTREAU were launched. These books are a collection of studies that aim at disseminating the work of researchers at Université Laval in the field of water. The centre ceased its operations in the mid-1980s.

Check the Cahiers de CENTREAU published between 1976 and 1979 (in French) and the centre's annual reports »

Given the creation of the water engineering curriculum and the scale of water research at Université Laval, it seemed only natural to bring back to life this great research centre in 2015 in Université Laval.

Then, in the face of the obvious need for a unifying group on water management in the province, the center was enlarged to the whole of Quebec and it submitted its first proposal for financing as a strategic cluster with the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ ) in 2018. Starting April 1st 2019 CentrEau is officially recognized as a strategic cluster on water management for the entire Québec province. As such CentrEau now groups 54 regular researchers and around 300 student members over the entire province. 

On its side, the Université Laval' Water Research Centre became the c-EAU, one of the local chapters of CentrEau.