The Ontario Clean Water Agency’s Indra Maharjan was recognized in the Government Leader category of the 2021 Water’s Next Awards

It’s an understatement to say that Indra Maharjan is passionate about his work.

As a senior engineer with an extensive history that spans energy conservation, climate change and resource recovery in the water/wastewater sector, Maharjan leads the Ontario Clean Water Agency’s (OCWA’s) Innovation, Efficiency and Technology group. He delivers innovative infrastructure solutions to over 200 municipal clients across Ontario. In doing so, he brings his first-hand knowledge of the challenges associated with municipal water/wastewater innovation, efficiency, and optimization to the task.

“Indra will readily admit when a technology doesn’t meet an intended need,” notes Jon Grant, chief commercial officer of SENTRY Water Tech “However, to him, this isn’t a failure—it’s an opportunity to learn what other options are out there.”

While the water industry tends to be risk-averse, Maharjan has been a true champion for trying new approaches that lead to positive outcomes. Maharjan developed and implemented the very first pay for performance energy program in the water/wastewater sector with support from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator. He has also been a driving force behind the Municipal Co-digestion Initiative that was showcased in the November/December 2020 issue of Water Canada.

Maharjan at the Getting to Net Zero Energy Wastewater event held by the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) in partnership with the Ontario Water Consortium. Image Credit: Ontario Water Consortium.

Rahim Kanji from the Ontario Water Consortium notes that co-digestion “is a new concept in Canada.” The work that Maharjan  has done in collaboration with OWC has created a new movement in the organics and wastewater sector. In doing so, Maharjan “brought municipal, electric, and gas utilities together to advance the goal of GHG reduction, clean fuel production, and circular economy.”

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The City of Stratford is one of the municipalities that has been involved in the Municipal Co-digestion initiative. Recently, Maharjan—along with a team at the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks—was awarded a 2020 Amethyst award for service excellence for a project in Stratford. The Amethyst Award is the highest order of recognition for excellence in the Ontario Public Service.

This profile was written by Evan Pilkington, a seriously water-obsessed freelance writer, for the July/August 2021 issue of Water Canada.

The nomination period for the 2022 Water’s Next Awards is now open! Learn more about the awards here.

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