waterNEXT Challenges

From Pilot to Municipal Green Infrastructure Go-To

The City of Vancouver Challenge provided a successful pilot opportunity that enabled Novion to develop their product offering, using the results to approach other municipalities.

Challenge Impact
Week Period
10000 +
Green Infrastructure Implementations Supported
May 2021 - September 2021

Smart GRI Monitoring for the City of Vancover

This Challenge sought solutions that could remotely monitor the performance of several green rainwater infrastructure (GRI) sites across Vancouver, gathering valuable data on water infiltration levels.

Novion, a Vancouver-based climate intelligence company, was chosen as the winner. The successful pilot led to an annual subscription by the city and the technology is now being adopted by other municipalities. 

Challenge Sponsor:

Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and City of Vancouver

Challenge Winner:


Challenge Coordinator:

Foresight Canada

Challenge Outcomes

Novion’s end-to-end solution handled everything from procuring sensors to installation, to generating insights, replacing months of manual data collection in seconds. 

The pilot ran for 26 weeks, testing 48 major rainfall events, and is now used to support the implementation of over 10,000 green infrastructure assets in the next 30 years.

Read the Report


Accessing the pilot opportunity allowed Novion to move their algorithm from theoretical to actual.


After the pilot, Novion was awarded an annual contract with the City of Vancouver to continue monitoring Vancouver’s GRI.


The city provides valuable feedback, which Novion is able to integrate into the product, making it a stronger fit for municipalities.


Based on the results of the pilot, other municipalities, like New Westminster, have reached out to Novion to explore implementing the solutions for their Green Infrastructure.


This process highlighted an opportunity for Novion to help cities design, plan and adopt green infrastructure, reshaping their business model.

Thanks to Project Green Light, Novion had the opportunity to partner with the City of Vancouver to design and deliver our Climate Intelligence Platform. With this powerful tool, cities can now effectively design, plan, monitor, and manage their green stormwater infrastructure and mitigate issues like urban flooding while improving water quality. This partnership allowed us to expand our reach across Canada to establish best practices that will shape the future of green infrastructure management.

John Nguyen  Founder and Operations Lead, Novion
<span>John Nguyen </span>

Challenge Background

Within the City of Vancouver, rain events increasingly overwhelm the sewer and storm pipe system, leading to overflows of polluted urban rainwater runoff and untreated sewage discharges into our oceans and waterways.

The Rain City Strategy set a target to manage rainwater runoff from 40% of impervious areas by 2050. They were looking to increase their number of GRIs while developing a monitoring system that allowed them to scale.

Who Was Involved

  • covlogo-share
  • Foresight Canada Horizontal
  • novion-logo-wordmark.56d51f4c
  • PGL_Footer_Logos_Vancouver_Economic_Commission