Atlantic Canada Challenge 2020

AquaHacking Challenge

Atlantic Canada 2020

Between January and September 2020, young innovators - from across Atlantic Canada - were invited to create ground- breaking solutions to critical environmental water issues.

Hosted By

Congratulations to the finalists

First Place

Clean Catch - Public Choice Award

A 100% biodegradable, PVC-free soft-bait fishing lured for recreational fishing, developed through a unique organic biopolymer solution.



Guillermo Villarreal De Lara, Katherine Vanzutphen, Robel Berhane

Second Place


An online platform designed to make
the water testing experience for well owners easy and affordable.



Adam Fleiger,Alexandra Embree, Jonathan Kan, Liam Hartery

Third Place


A containerized distillation water treatment systemthat integrates off-the-shelf, existing technologies, to provide high quality trusted water to small rural and Indigenous communities in an accessible, sustainable, and culturally appropriate way.



Nathan Mcnally, Grace Mcnally, Rachel Hudson, Patrick Palmer, Sochima Nnama, Lauren Martin, Ben Veysey, Mudiwa Mharapara & Waseem Jawad

Fourth Place

ExTech MIP

A novel technology for easy onsite sampling
of organic contaminants in well water using a field-deployable and inexpensive device.



Ali Azizi & Fereshteh Shahhoseini

Fifth Place


A service to streamline the water analysis process using test kits and cloud analysis to reduce known barriers and increase well testing.



Samuel Coleman, Matthew Mizzi, Robert Afari & Anita Taylor

About the Challenge

Young, innovative minds – from across Atlantic Canada – were invited to put their skills to work, creating ground-breaking solutions to some of the most critical environmental water issues facing Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

A body of water located between small hills

The Water Issues

An icon of a boat with a net

Microplastics from fishing gear

How can microplastics from fishing gear (threads, fragments) be prevented from entering aquatic environments and how can fishing gear be retrieved before furthering the problem of microplastic accumulation?​


Water Issue Leader:
Ariel Smith, Coastal Action

An icon of a drop in a glass of water

Treatment of Drinking water in rural and First Nations Communities

How can we develop tools to empower small rural and Indigenous communities to manage their drinking water supplies in a sustainable and culturally appropriate way?


Water Issue Leaders:
Stephanie Gora, Centre for Water Resources Studies, Dalhousie University and Mike Chaulk, CBCL Limited

An icon of a well with a glass of water

Private Well Safety

How can we improve the safety of private well drinking water?


Water Issue Leader:
Gavin Kennedy, Nova Scotia Department of Energy & Mines and Gordon Check, Nova Scotia Environment

An icon of a farm

Sediment and Pesticide Runoff

How can we minimize the impacts of soil and pesticide runoff in our Aquatic ecosystems?


Water Issue Leader:
Angela Banks & Mary Finch, PEI Watershed Alliance

An icon of a fish with microplastic

Algal Blooms and Eutrophication

How can we manage and prevent algal blooms before they occur?


Water Issue Leader:

Roxanne Mckinnon, ACAP St. John

Advisory Committee

Dr. Amina Stoddart

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University

Andrew Sinclair

Surface Water Quality Specialist, Nova Scotia Environment

Colleen McNeil

Analyst, Water and Ecosystems, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dr. Linda Campbell

Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Science, Saint Mary’s University

Simon Mitchell

Vice President, Resilient Habitats, WWF-Canada

Dr. Stephanie Gora

Assistant Professor, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University

Marc Skinner

Senior Associate, Marine Technical Leader, Stantec


Interested in bringing AquaHacking to a watershed near you and improving freshwater health? Let’s Connect, or follow us on social to be the first to know about our next Challenge.