Downstream is partnering with the National Water and Wastewater Association’s annual conference. At this invite-only speed networking event that brings together current and future generations of water professionals, attendees can get in on the conversation with water sector experts as they discuss:

  • Water Governance
  • Arctic Exploration
  • Floodwater Mitigation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Wetland Conservation
  • Cleantech
  • Working with NGOs

Interested in attending Downstream or know a student or young career professional who you feel would benefit from the event? Reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Download the 2022 Downstream Report to see industry trends and opportunities



Victoria Fernandez, Water Resources and Coastal Engineer, President of the CWRA-Maritime Branch + Editor of the CZCA

Victoria Fernandez holds a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, under the Fulbright Program. She has over 17 years of experience in Civil Engineering and for the last 15 years. Ms. Fernandez has been involved in a wide range of projects related to stormwater management, flooding risks, climate change adaptation, coastal protection and water quality in Canada, Venezuela and the United States. Her experience includes stormwater infrastructure detail design, flooding studies, low flow assessments and water and stormwater infrastructure assessment. Ms. Fernandez has accrued comprehensive experience in computer modelling of complex systems involving hydrodynamic processes, freshwater discharge, stormwater runoff, infiltration, wave action and sediment transport. Her experience also includes detailed design and construction services of stormwater and coastal protection infrastructure.

Michele Grenier, Executive Director, Ontario Water Works Association

Michele Grenier is the Executive Director of the Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA). She is a licensed professional Chemical Engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry in both the public and private sectors. Her expertise is in the planning, operation, optimization and maintenance of municipal drinking water systems. Michele is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, the Ontario Environment Industry Association, and the Toronto Metropolitan University’s Urban Water Centre Board of Advisors. She is also the current Chair of the Ontario Advisory Council On Drinking Water Quality And Testing Standards.

Keegan Smith, Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator, Water First

As a Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator at Water First, Keegan spends most of his time planning and delivering water science workshops in Indigenous communities in Canada. Keegan has been working in water science for 8 years, in academic research support and for an NGO. Keegan holds an M.Sc. in Geography from Carleton University.

Anna Naylor, Program Manager, Blue Futures Pathways-SOI Foundation

Anna has 10 years of experience of working and connecting youth within the Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE), and brings this passion to the SOI Foundation. After graduating from her Masters in Marine Management, Anna co-founded OCEANS-NS, a registered not-for-profit organization that seeks to enhance and strengthen oceans education in Nova Scotia. From there, Anna continued to develop her skills and brings experience in project management, program development, and youth engagement for her position as Program Manager for Blue Futures Pathways. Anna focuses on providing internships, mentorships, career opportunities/training and developing initiatives that support Canadian youth to chart their career within the SBE.

Cathie O’Toole, General Manager and CEO, Halifax Regional Water Commission

Cathie O’Toole is the General Manager of Halifax Water and prior to that was Halifax Water’s Director of Corporate Services/CFO. Cathie has held senior roles such as Director of Finance/CFO and Director of Infrastructure and Asset Management with the Halifax Regional Municipality, and most of her career has been in the public sector and government business enterprises. As member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, Cathie enjoys contributing to the community and water industry through volunteering and serving on Boards. She currently serves on the American Water Works Association Finance Committee, and the Water Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Anna Scheili, PH.D., Chimiste I Experte-conseil et chargée de projets, Professeure associée ÉSAD – Université Laval

With a chemical engineering diploma and a PhD in water management, Anna Scheili has a profile integrating know-how from the fields of research, public and private sectors. During her professional activities she gained more than fifteen years of experience in the water sector with increased expertise in data acquisition, management and exploitation. WaterShed Monitoring benefits from her strong project management skills through multiple major projects as source vulnerability analysis or development of decision-making tools.

Chris Wolnik Programs Director, Water First 

Chris has 25+ years’ experience in environmental program development, implementation, evaluation and monitoring for private, public and non for profit organizations. Chris’s work as an environmental regulator in the Northwest Territories, leadership of a Canadian environmental NGO and extensive water and wastewater operations experience has him uniquely positioned to contribute to the success of the Water First team. Chris is responsible for program leadership and management, operational systems, and implementing program efficiency and improvements. Chris holds a Masters’ degree in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University.


Meaghan Quanz, Conservation Program Specialist, Ducks Unlimited Canada


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