The federal government is investing up to $12 million in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday morning at the University of Waterloo.

The SOWC is a group of post-secondary institutions in the province that are working on new clean-water technologies. The funding will help the consortium partner with 90 businesses and non-profits to work on 80 projects, according to a release from the prime minister's office. 

"By investing in groups like the Southern Ontario Water Consortium we're investing in our economy, we're investing in our environment, we've investing in our communities but above all, we're investing in our future," Trudeau said.

He said he has heard from Canadians that protecting the environment is a priority.

"We are committed to building a more sustainable economy that ensures we leave a cleaner and healthier environment for our children and grandchildren," Trudeau said.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Waterloo, Ont. on Thursday to announce funding for water research. (Michel Euler/Associated Press)

While at the university, Trudeau toured the Velocity program, which offers students space, support and tools to build their own businesses and includes a student dorm and workspaces across Waterloo Region. 

The science arm of the program, Velocity Science, is undergoing a substantial expansion and will eventually move into a new 7,000 square foot home in the Science Complex building. 

Infrastructure on PM's agenda

The Trudeau government is considering moving up the timetable on some infrastructure spending in order to boost the faltering economy, according to the Canadian Press.

The news agency has reported that Ottawa is looking at speeding up its 10-year plan to pump an extra $60 billion into projects and push cash out faster in the wake of the falling dollar and commodity prices, and sluggish economic growth.

Asked yesterday if Ottawa may spend more than the promised $5 billion extra on infrastructure in the coming year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau didn't rule it out — but said details will come in his budget, expected in March.

With files from The Canadian Press