Water’s Next Selection Committee

Stephen Braun HeadshotStephen Braun

Stephen has over 30 years of water resources experience in stormwater quality, urban drainage, riverine flooding, stream restoration, civil design, environmental assessment, and multi-disciplinary studies. He is a senior water resources engineer at Matrix Solutions Inc. and is currently president of the Canadian Water Resources Association. He is also a founding partner of CB Shield Inc. and co-inventor of several commercially available stormwater treatment devices.

Simran Chattha

Simran Chattha is the editor of Water Canada. She is a subject matter expert with experience in creating must-read stories and news for digital and print platforms. Simran is also the project manager for the Canadian Water Summit. She completed a Bachelor of Environmental Studies at York University and M.A. in Political Science at the University of Guelph.

Melissa Dick

Melissa is a program manager at Aqua Forum, where she supports the success of young Canadian entrepreneurs by helping them develop water tech start-ups and social enterprises via the organization’s flagship program, the AquaHacking Challenge. Melissa is a strong believer in entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation as the path toward a sustainable future. With eight years of experience in academia, government, consulting, community initiatives, and the non-profit sectors across Canada, she draws from multiple perspectives in her work advancing the fields of natural resource management, conservation, and sustainable business. Melissa holds a BSc in Geography and an MSc in Biology from Carleton University.

Jon Grant

Jon Grant loves growing innovative technologies in the water sector because he can have a positive impact every day! He has worked on the commercial side of Smart Water for the past decade. He works with companies in the space on growth, export, partnerships, and commercialization.

At an AI startup he led the commercial side of the company. He translated complex AI concepts to business models and client needs, leading to projects and partnerships on multiple continents. At WaterTAP, Jon oversaw research and export growth for the Ontario water sector. He worked with 30-40 cutting edge technologies to find the right clients, markets, investors, and partners. In doing so, he became a one-stop shop for Smart Water and innovative technologies for utilities to fill their most pressing needs.

He is on the WEF Utility Management Committee. He has also held various volunteer committee and board roles in the Ontario and Canadian water sector in the the past. He has degrees from the University of Cincinnati, University of Dundee, and The London School of Economics.

Irene Hassas

Irene’s enthusiasm in building and growing companies, as well as economic development of communities, has been the driving force in leading many projects in both private and public sectors.

In the private sector, she has managed sales, marketing, operations, and business development for water and wastewater treatment companies. Prior to joining the private sector, she served in the public sector (Toronto Public Health and Environment Canada).

As a board member and committee chair of different associations—such as the Ontario Environment Industry Association and Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association—Irene leads committee meetings and roundtables, organizes events, and leads discussions on industry challenges and opportunities with industry leaders and stakeholders such as MPPs and Ministers at Queens Park.

Robert Haller

Robert Haller is the executive director of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association. He started with the CWWA in May of 2012 after 20 years as a senior municipal administrator where he oversaw several infrastructure projects including a new wastewater treatment facility. Robert holds a BA in Geography from Carleton University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario where his work focused on water policy following the Walkerton tragedy. Robert has served on the Source Protection Working Group for the St. Lawrence River and has served on the Municipal Advisory Panel to the Ontario Clean Water Agency. He feels his work as a municipal town manager has made him a jack of all trades when it comes to municipal government and provides him the credentials to speak on behalf of municipal utilities across Canada.

Claire Jackson

Claire is passionate about water and has been involved in the water industry for over six years. She believes that we need to approach our water challenges in a collaborative, systemic way. Many water challenges span industries and geographies, allowing for broad application of technical and systemic solutions. Claire excels at strategic water management planning, water market analysis, and bringing the right teams together. Her unique blend of technical and team-based leadership skills has allowed for a broad reach within the water industry, recognising market opportunities, and making connections to facilitate the realisation of those opportunities.

Claire is the director of engineering at WaterSMART Solutions. She responsible for the private
sector business line, managing the engineering team, and providing engineering and
environmental subject matter expertise to support water strategy, sustainable development,
natural resource management, and environmental policy projects.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering
from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science in Environmental Systems
Engineering from University College London. Claire is a regular speaker and presenter at
national and local industry conferences on water-related development issues.

Linda Li

Linda Li is an engineer-in-training at Dillon Consulting. Since joining Dillon in 2017, Linda has been heavily involved in projects related to industrial wastewater treatment, international drinking water treatment process design, and municipal wastewater plant construction and upgrades.

Linda is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Civil and Environmental Engineering program. Linda conducted her Master’s research on sustainable treatment of municipal wastewater in cold regions.

Linda has been a dedicated WEAO member since 2014. She intially joined the association as the student chapter president at Waterloo. She now serves on the Young Professionals Committee at WEAO. Aside from WEAO, Linda serves on the International Water Association’s World Water Congress Programme Committee. She will be leading the programming of the next World Water Congress in Toronto in 2022.

Michael Lywood

Michael is principal water services engineer at Wood. He has over 40 years design, construction, and operations experience in the water and wastewater industry, in both the municipal and private sectors. Michael has directed numerous projects in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean and has developed strategic plans for the restructuring and reengineering of water and wastewater utilities. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Queens University and an MBA from McMaster. Michael is currently the president of the Canadian Association on Water Quality and together with the CWWA is looking forward to hosting the International Water Association’s World Water Congress & Exhibition in Toronto in August 2024.

Eric Meliton

Eric Meliton is the manager of the sustainability office at Wilfrid Laurier University. Eric is a thought leader and industry conduit with over 15 years of strategic experience, which includes analyzing cleantech trends, execution of corporate social responsibility objectives, and strengthening of stakeholder and governmental relationships. Eric’s role is to provide sustainability leadership in a collaborative, multi-campus environment in both Waterloo and Brantford. The Sustainability Office supports the exceptional employees, students, researchers, and educators to maintain Laurier’s reputation as a sustainability leader and a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact.

Terry Rees

Terry Rees has been the executive director of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) since 2004. FOCA is the largest waterfront landowner organization in Canada, representing 50,000 member families in 520 community associations. Terry has a B.A. in Economics from Western University, and a Certificate in Environmental Management from Ryerson University. Terry is a member of the Trent Source Water Protection Committee, the Ontario Biodiversity Council, and numerous other committees. Terry is FOCA’s lead on Ontario’s Lake Partner Program, the largest volunteer water quality monitoring program in Canada, and has volunteered on lake associations and with environmental initiatives for over 30 years. Terry has been a member of NALMS for over 15 years and was a 2012 Waters Next Award winner.

Emily Stahl

Emily Stahl is the manager of technical services in the City of Guelph’s Water Utility. In this role she is responsible for the technical team that supports the operational division. This includes management of the compliance, DWQMS, health and safety, operator certification, capital programs, and the water efficiency programs specialists and teams.

As Guelph is reliant on groundwater for its municipal water supply, these roles ensure the long term sustainability and protection of the resource. Emily is a Professional Geoscientist and a Water Resources Engineering Masters Candidate possessing significant government and private consulting based experience in integrated water management, water resource planning, source water protection and associated technical studies and stakeholder engagement processes.