British Columbia Challenge 2020

AquaHacking Challenge

British Columbia 2020

Between September 2019 and July 2020 young innovators – from British Columbia and beyond – were invited to put their skills to work, creating ground-breaking solutions to some of the most critical environmental freshwater issues.

Hosted By

Congratulations to the finalists

First Place

Ozero Solutions

A technology to decontaminate ballast water in sport boats to prevent the propagation of zebra and quagga mussels in freshwater.



Benjamin Farley, Maxime Guay, Olivier Harpin, Olivier Liberge, Christophe Morin & Matys Tessier

Second Place


An engineering solution, adapted to the land contour, to collect debris, waste, and sediment as it flows over the urban landscape in times of high water events.



Jacob Sol, Rudransh Kumar, Cole White-Robinson, Ayden Wong & Graeme Kumagai

Third Place

Above Atlantis

Above Atlantis is tackling the issue of flood risk through the development of an interactive online platform that makes flood information more accessible to the public.



Jay Matsushiba, Hanieh Daliri, Shantanu Dutt & Joshua Kamijan

Fourth Place

Elite - Public Choice Award

A gravity-based filtration system that removes oil, dust and petroleum contaminants from water.



Ahmed Ramadan, Gavin Saini, Harvey Mann & Keyvan Khadem

Fifth Place


A digital simulated platform that provides feedback to policymakers on the efficacy of farm incentives aimed at water conservation & nutrient management to protect water quality.



Waseem Jawad, Luke Trinity

The Water Issues

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How can we improve water quality in our lakes and streams by reducing stormwater contamination?

Hydrocarbon, metal and pathogen contaminants run off of roads, sidewalks and driveways and flow through the stormwater system into our lakes and streams. The pollutants degrade drinking water, harm fish, and the quality of swimming beaches. Stormwater pollution is a serious problem in B.C., where many communities rely on surface drinking water sources, but the problem is widespread throughout North America and the world.


Water Issue Leader:
Larratt Aquatic Consulting Ltd. and Associated Environmental Consultants Inc

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How can we prevent damage from invasive mussels?

Technology is needed to improve prevention methods, and also to develop ways to minimize the damage the mussels do to boats, intakes and other infrastructure. Such technology would have a market across most of North America.


Water Issue Leader:
Okanagan Basin Water Board

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How can we reduce the amount of water used outdoors by B.C. homes and businesses?

In the Okanagan, residential outdoor watering is the second-highest use after agriculture, primarily on lawns, created for mostly cosmetic purposes, and gardens. Residential outdoor water use creates an economic burden on communities for the costs of piping, storage and infrastructure to service the high summer water demand. Technology to reduce outdoor use could be widely applied throughout the North American west.


Water Issue Leader:
City of Kelowna and Regional District of North Okanagan.

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How can we reduce damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure and better communicate the risk of flooding to communities?

New technology to improve the way we reduce flood hazards in communities and communicate flood risk would be valuable to local and senior governments, the insurance industry and to consumers across North America and internationally.


Water Issue Leader:
Fraser Basin Council and Natural Resources Canada

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How can we improve access to clean drinking water for Indigenous communities in B.C.?

Indigenous communities throughout Canada lack access to clean and safe drinking water. Solutions need to be found to improve water testing and treatment in order to realize basic human rights for Indigenous Peoples in Canada and address the disproportionate lack of clean drinking water.


Water Issue Leaders:

Natural Resources Research and Okanagan Nation Alliance

Advisory Committee

Anna Warwick Sears

Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board

Denise Neilsen

Director – Okanagan Water Stewardship Council

Dave Teasdale

Professor – Okanagan College

Andrew Greer

CoFounder & Community Catalyst – PURPPL Accelerator

David Saltman

Founder – Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council

Rehan Sadiq

Dean and Professor – School of Engineering University of British Columbia Okanagan

Kariann Aarup

Partnerships and Program Development – AquaHacking

Corie Griffiths

Director – Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Jeremy Clowes

Principal – Water and Waste Water Engineer Urban Systems

Don Dobson

Principal – Dobson Engineering

Rod MacLean

Manager – Utility Planning City of Kelowna Okanagan Nation Alliance – member to be confirmed

Matthew Woods

Manager – Cleantech Planning and Innovation Branch Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology Province of British Columbia

Tarik Dessouki

Director – Environmental and Climate Monitory Section B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy


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.