Monica Emelko is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Water Science, Technology & Policy at the University of Waterloo, where she also serves as the Director of the Water Science, Technology & Policy Group.
Monica’s research is focused on drinking water supply and treatment, and associated health risk assessment. Her work has involved over a dozen utilities and conservation authorities across North America. Monica has acted as a technical advisor to the U.S. National Academies and federal and provincial/state agencies in Canada, the United States, and Australia regarding water treatment, source protection, and public health risk assessment regulations and guidance.
Five of her graduate supervisees have been awarded the prestigious American Water Works Association’s Academic Achievement Award for best drinking water-related Master’s thesis in North America. Monica co-leads the Southern Rockies Watershed Project, (SRWP) evaluating the effects of forested watershed land disturbances on hydrology and water quality, ecology, and treatability. This team was the first globally to describe wildfire effects on drinking water treatability, and among the first cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for identifying quality-associated threats from climate change to water security. They were awarded the 2014 Council of the Federation Award for Water Stewardship and an Alberta Emerald Award. In 2016, Monica and her SRWP Co-Principal Investigator were recognized by the Premier for service to the province of Alberta as a first responder during the Horse River wildfire in Fort McMurray.
She now co-leads “forWater” a Canada-wide and internationally-partnered research network of academics, water utilities, government agencies, industrial forestry companies, and NGOs focused on forest management-based approaches for drinking water source protection.