2020 Finalists

Category—People: Academic Leader

Julia Baird HeadshotJulia Baird—Assistant Professor, Brock University

Julia’s research is focused on improving the governance of our water resources. She is currently studying climate change adaptation and flood planning networks to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. The lessons learned from this research will have implications for watersheds across Canada. This is particularly relevant as climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of flood events and the need for climate change adaptation plans.

Chris Metcalfe headshotChis Metcalfe—Professor, Trent University

Chris has been a professor for over 35 years. He works with Indigenous communities in Canada to resolve challenges related to both water and wastewater. Chris also investigates personal care products, pesticides and carcinogenic chemicals in water. In addition to this, Chris works on water quality issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rehan Sadiq—Executive Associate Dean and Professor, University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)

Rehan is an internationally recognized authority on asset management and reliability of water supply systems. He is also a leading expert in environmental risk analysis and lifecycle assessment of built environments. Rehan’s research helps safeguard water supplies and distribution. His research also serves as the basis for policymaking in asset management in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Saudi Arabia.

Category—People: Business Leader

Martin BureauMartin Bureau—Vice President of Innovation, Sanexen

Martin is a professional engineer who has been working in research and development since 1992. He holds a Doctorate of Material Sciences in Polymer Composites, a Master of Applied Sciences in Metallurgy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. Over the course of his career, Martin has developed a broad experience in the management of technological research and development programs involving several stakeholders from industrial, academic and government entities.

John Gillis—Innovation Cluster—Peterborough and the Kawarthas

John started his entrepreneurial journey creating a business in process instrumentation and automation, which quickly grew into a multi-million dollar company, Measuremax. The main
focus for Measuremax was the water/wastewater market and created many innovative products to service the sector.  John has been a founding member of the Peterborough Region Angel Network, since 2006, which has a focus on investing in cleantech companies and startups. He then partnered with two other Angels and two young entrepreneurs to start Aclarus Ozone, a
technology company in the water and wastewater market. After several years of business, John has come to the Innovation Cluster so that he may use his time and knowledge to give back to the community of Peterborough in the cleantech industry. John is now president of the Innovation Cluster. In this role, he helps startups in various technology sectors.

Tim Sutherns—Master of Chaos, Eramosa Engineering

Tim has been involved in the water industry for almost 30 years.  He holds degrees from Queen’s University (electrical/computer engineering) and the University of Guelph (environmental engineering). Tim’s career in the water sector started with dual floppy drives and dial-up modems. Thankfully things have changed quite a bit and the technological changes since that time have seen a movement toward smart water initiatives and digital transformation across Canadian municipalities.

Category—People: Government Leader

Saad Jasim—Manager of Utilities, City of White Rock

In his role at the City of White Rock, Saad oversees the day-to-day operations of the City’s Water Division. This includes managing the implementation and completion of the Total Water Quality Management Project. Saad’s role also includes: evaluating and determining the operation needs structure of the City’s Water Department; implementing detailed sampling and analysis procedures to establish full knowledge of the current water quality from different water sources; and, managing the implementation of pilot scale experiments using a well-equipped mobile pilot unit provided by RESEAU.

Indra Maharjan—Ontario Clean Water Agency

Barry Orr—Sewer Outreach and Control Inspector, City of London

Barry has over 25 years of experience in environmental and wastewater fields. He is the spokesperson for the Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group of Canada, and the Canadian representative on the International Water Services Flushability Group for the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association. He is also appointed as an expert representative on the Standards Council of Canada’s and the International Organization for Standardization’s “flushable” workgroup. In addition to this, Barry is the author of many articles published in Water Canada Magazine, Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine, WEAO’s Influents Magazine, and a co-author of the Ryerson University report: Defining “Flushability” for Sewer Use.

Melina Scholefield—Manager of Green Infrastructure Implementation, City of Vancouver

Melina’s leadership led to the adoption of the Rain City Strategy, a 30-year plan to transform how rainwater is managed in the City of Vancouver.  Melina saw an opportunity to move beyond the City’s regulatory water quality requirements and develop a long-term strategy that considers climate change adaptation, biodiversity, equity, livability, and reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Marina’s long-standing dedication to sustainability and innovation in the municipal sector was key the development of the Rain City Strategy, which brings together five different departments as well as the private sector to improve water management in the City of Vancouver.

Category—People: Non-Government Leader

Chitra Gowda HeadshotChitra Gowda—Source Water Protection Lead, Conservation Ontario

Chitra has close to 20 years of experience related to water programs and policy, including source water protection, watershed monitoring and planning, conservation practices, and climate change assessments. Chitra has a Bachelor degree and a Master’s degree in environmental engineering. She works closely with conservation authorities, the provincial government, municipalities, and others. Her experience includes collaborative stakeholder engagement, working with Indigenous peoples, and strategic planning.

Kalpna Solanki—Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP)

Kalpna Solanki has been CEO of the Environmental Operators Certification Program for the past four years. Kalpna leads based on three principles: evolve, promote, and protect.  She is also passionate about water—drinking it and being in it (swimming and outrigger paddling)! In addition to this, Kalpna enjoys volunteering. Prior to her current role, she was the prresident of the Canadian Red Cross Lower Mainland Region, president of the Simon Fraser University Alumni Association, director with Big Brothers of the Lower Mainland, director with the Investment Agriculture Foundation, as well as founder and director of Operators Without Borders. Kalpna works with a fabulous team and board of directors, and enjoys going to work every day!

Graeme Stewart-Robertson—Executive Director, ACAP Saint John

Graeme contributes to numerous boards and initiatives in Atlantic Canada, He brings his unique insight and passion to issues ranging from ecosystem restoration and poverty reduction to marine biology and climate change. With over 13 years of experience in designing, implementing and managing community-based environmental projects, Graeme’s work challenges our collective relationship with landscape and nature and continues to explore the depths of how we define humanity and its role in natural systems.

Category—People: Water Operator

Krista DerricksonKrista Derrickson—Operator, Westbank First Nation

Krista has been an operator for 20 years. She started working in the water industry by accident. She went to school and received a degree in environmental science. When she went back to her community, there was no work available. When an opportunity came up to apply for the Water Operator position, she was encouraged to apply. Now, she can’t imagine doing anything else. She is the third generation to be involved in the supply of water for her community. She loved being an operator and supporting other operators in whatever way she can, big or small.

Deon Hassler—File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council

Category—People: Young Professional

Anum Khan—Graduate Student, Ryerson University

Anum is a graduate student in the civil engineering program at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on applications of machine learning for urban wastewater collection systems and using digital transformation to make these systems more resilient to “flushable” consumer products. Anum also leads a non-profit initiative, Water for the World, that delivers workshops to students in kindergarten to grade 12 to raise awareness about issues linked to global water poverty. She also volunteers with the Ontario Headwaters Institute and serves on Canadian Water Network’s Student and Young Professional Committee.

Thouheed Adbul GaffoorThouheed Abdul Gaffoor—EMAGIN

Category—Projects and Technology: Conveyance

City of Waterloo

Category—Projects and Technology: Drinking Water


blueW is a growing national tap water refilling network. It includes over 27,000 shops, restaurants, and public spaces where people can refill their water bottles with safe, clean tap water. This helps people make healthier choices for hydration, avoid single-use plastic, and appreciate the hard work of municipal water providers. Participating refill locations are found by using the blueW website and associated smartphone applications. People with limited access to technology can simply download and print one of our city refill location maps, or look for the blueW sticker on the front window of their favourite shops.


Sanexen’s second generation water technology has been proven to be resilient to earthquakes by Cornell University. The technology is intended to be a damage-tolerant cured in-place pipe (CIPP) product with greatly improved strength. It resists the stringent and demanding loading conditions of a water main, to a level equivalent to that of any other pipelines for static loading and better than any new water main designs for extreme soil deformation such as earthquake events. This solution offers a far less disruptive, less costly, more environmentally-friendly and physically superior alternative to the outright replacement of aging or deteriorated water main pipes.

Category—Projects and Technology: Early Adoption

The Nation Municipality—Bishop Water

Bishop BioCord™ Reactors are being installed to upgrade the capacity and performance of the Limoges Wastewater Treatment Facility, near Ottawa, Ontario. BioCord’s low capital and operating cost enabled The Nation Municipality to cost-effectively extend the life of its treatment lagoons and avoid the high cost of replacing them with a complex mechanical treatment plant. BioCord is a simple, easy-to-operate fixed-film technology that uses strands of densely arranged loops of polymer fibres to provide a massive surface area on which preferred bacteria can grow. With an optimized BioCord system, wastewater lagoons can accept greater nutrient loading, decrease retention times and improve effluent quality—especially in cold-weather conditions.

GBF—Western University—Hoskin Scientific

Category—Projects and Technology: Stormwater

City of Vancouver logoCity of Vancouver—Rain City Strategy

The City of Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy is an ambitious 30-year green infrastructure and rainwater management plan that will change how rainwater is managed in the urban environment. Developed by a multidisciplinary team, the Rain City Strategy provides a road map for how the city will revolutionize the design of public and private spaces to manage rainwater. It sets an ambitious target to manage 90 per cent of Vancouver’s average rainfall, which translates to a green infrastructure design standard to capture and clean 48 millimetres of rainfall per day. 

Rain It In

Rain It In is a national non-profit and annual competition that challenges post-secondary students to create innovative solutions that will mitigate the impacts of intense rainfall events. After the competition, Rain It In provides support to students interested in developing prototypes of their solutions.

The Jellyfish-Imbrium Systems

Category—Projects and Technology: Wastewater

BQE Water

Selen-IX™ is a patented water treatment process technology developed to address North American regulatory discharge limits for selenium of three parts per billion. The process combines ion exchange and electro-reduction to selectively remove selenium, creating a small amount of stable non-toxic residue with offtake potential. The ability of Selen-IX™ to treat large volumes of water, operate intermittently/seasonally, and respond to rapid fluctuations in feed flow makes it highly effective for selenium control in industrial applications. The first Selen-IX™ plant at a mine site will commence operations in the second half of 2020 while the first at a power utility will be operational in early 2021.

Duffin Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

A modern data management system, e.RIS, is being used at one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Canada. The data management system acquires data from separate sources and provides analysis to show the interdependence of actions within a process. By harnessing e.RIS, staff are able to visualize issues and identify the conditions they want to operate within. The system also helps staff by sending alerts so that they can solve the issue, ensure that the system is running smoothly, and keep the rest of the team aware of the situation.


Kourant Technologies Inc. owns the worldwide exclusive marketing rights for an innovative and patented wastewater treatment technology. This breakthrough technology is the EBR Process. Researchers from universities in Concordia and Manitoba found an innovative way to use an electrical current within the existing bioreactor of the wastewater treatment plant to remove nitrogen, phosphorous, and heavy metals. The system also helps achieve sludge conditioning. Kourant’s EBR Process is now being demonstrated at a pre-commercial level at the City of L’Assomption’s (Quebec) wastewater treatment plant. This $3 million demonstration prototype has a treatment capacity of 150m3/day and has been operating successfully for the last six months.


SENTRY is a unique bio-electrode sensor technology that provides real-time microbial performance monitoring in anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment systems. SENTRY data is used by plant operators to: identify imbalance/toxicity events; minimize costs associated with aeration; and maximize organic loading to aerobic of anaerobic treatment systems.

Category—Projects and Technology: Water Resources

Aclarus Ozone

Anticipated water shortages and better sustainability are driving water reuse. Developers proactively needed to meet regulations by lessening water demand through reuse. Aclarus Ozone provided a chemical free, high-flow solution to treat and reuse rain, ground, and green roof water for non-potable reuse. Ozone disinfectants and treats a wide range of contaminants including metals, colour, odour, and many chemicals. Reuse with ozone lowers demands on municipal infrastructure as well as chemicals that end up in the environment.

Canada’s Great Water Adventure