Water Resources

Nava Pokharel uses water to provide holistic environmental solutions

With over 20 years of experience in water resources, Nava talks about his introduction to the industry and his plans for its future.

With a career spanning mine water management, stormwater management, floodplain modelling, dam breach modelling, river engineering, and hydrological and hydraulic modelling, Nava has an impressive resume.

Nava Pokharel in a kayak. Nava Pokharel, M.Sc., P.Eng., Senior Water Resources Engineer

His interest in water, its influence, and impact started in Nepal, where he grew up. “Nepal has lots of steep rivers that originate in the Himalayas. I did my undergraduate there and we used to hear a lot about it having lots of hydroelectric potential and how less than 1% of it is utilized,” Nava says.

With Nepal also being prone to monsoon rain, floods, and natural disasters, it was a compelling reason for Nava to pursue a career in water.

Right after his graduation, he got the opportunity to work on one of the country’s largest hydroelectric construction sites and, soon after, moved to Switzerland to complete a graduate program at EPFL. After that, he moved to Canada, where he completed a graduate degree in water resources engineering at the University of Alberta and has worked here since.

Today, he’s part of the Ecometrix team’s water resources group as our Senior Water Resources Engineer. For Nava, it feels like a natural step. “Environmental consulting is where I feel I can use my water resources engineering expertise the most,” he explains.

He shares how he was drawn to Ecometrix for the fact that it’s tighter knit than other corporate companies and is well recognized in the industry for the services it provides. “I also knew about the team. Ecometrix is a very good group of people — all experts in different disciplines and very well educated.”

Nava Pokharel with Mount Everest in the background. Nava stands in front of Mount Everest

In future, Nava feels there’s a lot of opportunity to grow in the water resources sector, working collaboratively with other teams at Ecometrix to offer comprehensive and holistic solutions.

“People will isolate water resources as its own discipline, but it’s interconnected,” Nava says. “If you have somebody with expertise in mining or geochemistry, you can combine those experts with the water resources team. It gives a holistic answer to a problem, rather than just isolating water resources. Ecometrix has that, as well as in-house, industry-recognized tools like MineMod™.”

Of course, it’s not all about work. As well as watching sports and learning the ropes when it comes to golf, Nava is an avid hiker. He recently returned from a nine-day trek in the Himalayas, where he got an opportunity to see Mount Everest for the first time.

Meet more of our water resources experts

Growing up in Iran, our Hydrodynamics and Water Quality Modeller Alireza Ghane experienced the problems that come with water scarcity. Read how it inspired him to pursue a career in water resources.