Every year, Water Canada’s Water’s Next awards program honours the achievements and ideas of individuals and companies that successfully work to make a positive change to water in Canada and abroad.
Water Canada received 59 nominations this year. The list has been narrowed to 34 finalists based on the recommendations of the Water’s Next Selection Committee.
A number of individuals, companies, and organizations from Ontario have made it through to the award finals in seven categories. These include:
Category: Projects and Technologies – Drinking Water
- AquaHacking Challenge: The program engages multi-disciplinary teams of hackers, engineers, water scientists, and environmentally-conscious young adults from various university campuses, research centers, and organizations. AquaHacking brings them together to collaborate on developing cleantech engineering, web, and mobile solutions to water issues affecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin.
- Lauren Smith, PolyGone Technologies: The company provides a filter technology that can be installed by washing machine manufacturers and food and beverage producers to capture microfibres both at the site of release and at the site of contamination into food and beverage.
Category: People – Young Professional
- James Thuch Madhier, Rainmaker Enterprise: Madhier addresses intractable intercommunal conflicts over limited water sources, extreme hunger, poverty, youth, and women unemployment in remote parts of Africa by implementing solar-powered water infrastructure.
- Ellen Stitt, Ontario Clean Water Agency: Stitt is a water operator who dedicates her free time to water literacy through OneWater Education workshops and the idontflush campaign.
- Thouheed Abdul Gaffoor and Mohamad Vedut, EMAGIN: Gaffoor and Vedut support operators in the control room by harnessing an understanding of the built water cycle from an engineering perspective and through the use of machine learning.
Category: Projects & Technologies – Water Resources
- Alert Labs: Alert Labs’ intelligent leak and flood detection devices address water conservation challenges using real-time monitoring. The devices help property owners identify and respond to problems, as well as reduce the amount of water that is wasted in the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors.
- Eddy Home: Eddy’s IoT Intelligent Water Monitoring technology enables leak detection and preventative measures in buildings, resulting in water savings, and an improved water conservation methodology. The company’s suite of products equips users with the ability to monitor, control, and conserve their water usage, protecting them against the risk of water leaks and damage while simultaneously challenging them to make positive conservation changes.
Category: People – Non-Government Organizations
- Katie Giib, Food & Farm: Giib has conducted several studies related to water use in Ontario’s vegetable and fruit sectors. Using this information, she has helped food processors achieve water savings of between 30–70%, farms achieve 30–50% water savings, and inspired many spin-off projects.
- Robert Haller, Canadian Water and Wastewater Association: Haller has been a tireless advocate of the municipal water sector and helps improve water literacy, policy, collaboration, budget spending, and innovation across Canada. As an advisor to governments across Canada, Haller has bridged relationships with regulators, industry, academia, and entrepreneurs, through advocacy, event development, and research.
Category: Projects & Technologies – Early Adopter
- Water Rangers: Water Rangers is an online platform designed to empower citizens to discover existing data, report issues, and record observations of their lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. It also gives tools to different types of groups so they can mobilize volunteers to make an impact on their watersheds.
Category: People – Government
- Rebecca Bingeman, Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED): Working to ensure that Canadian water technology companies and sector organizations are represented in the marketplace, Bingeman assists entrepreneurs in navigating the complex and rapidly changing landscape of federal government initiatives.
Category: People – Academia
- Dr. Karen Kidd, McMaster University: For her research to help us understand the effects of food production, natural resource extraction, urban environments on the health of freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
Winners of the 2018 awards will be announced in Vancouver at the Water’s Next Awards Gala. The event is taking place on June 20 at the Pinnacle Marriott hotel as part of the ninth annual Canadian Water Summit. Water Canada will also share their stories in the July/August issue of the magazine.
A full list of nominees can be found on the Water Canada website.