Raven Sharma is breaking ground in a big way in the water and wastewater world.
The City of Selkirk’s Utilities Manager, Sharma was appointed to the Western Chapter of the North American Society for Trenchless Technologies (NASTT) recently.
Sharma, the only woman on the board and the only Manitoban, learned of her nomination while on a scholarship in B.C. – she had been selected to attend NASTT’s No-Dig North 2021 convention and trade show last November.
Her official appointment came while on another scholarship in April in Minnesota.
Sharma dedicated to improving practices of the sector
NASTT is an engineering society of individuals, public organizations and private companies with strong beliefs in the practical, social and environmental benefits of trenchless technology.
Selkirk CAO Duane Nicol offered congratulations to Sharma on the appointment and said she’s most deserving of the recognition.
“Raven has been an amazing addition to Team Selkirk. She is passionate about her work and dedicated to improving not just our practices, but the practices of the sector overall. We’ve benefited greatly from her creativity, insight, continuous-improvement ethic, and leadership. NASTT will benefit from her contributions, and we will benefit from the knowledge and experience she gains and puts to use here in Selkirk,” Nicol said.
For Sharma, the trip to B.C. provided a great opportunity to network and learn from the best in the industry. When she realized she’d been nominated to be a board member, she was shocked.
“I got to talk to all different people, managers of utilities, contractors, people that write the AWA (American Water & Wastewater Association) specs that we base almost everything we do on, like where we lay pipe in the ground,” Sharma said.
“The networking was just amazing. When they nominated me and said, ‘we want someone like you’, it just felt really nice and I’m very honoured.”
Beneficial for the City and award-winning asset management program
Sharma said having a seat at the NASTT table will be beneficial for the City of Selkirk and its award-winning asset management program.
“The City of Selkirk is really big on asset management. What we do is if we’ve got a road construction occurring, we want to line our sewer, we want to line our watermains during that construction, and the reason we do that is to increase the life expectancy,” Sharma said.
“As a board member of NASTT, I’ll be discussing what is the best liner for the residents of the City of Selkirk, what’s the liner that’s going to last 80 plus years. All of these conversations are had, and being on the board, I’ll also have a say,”
Sharma says she’s loves her job with the City of Selkirk because it is so progressive. When she learned about the state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant the city was building, she set her sights on a job here.
“I knew I wanted to come here with the new wastewater plant. I want to make a difference,” she said.
“The City of Selkirk started doing water liners in 2017. I want to have a say on what liner we’re putting into the ground and know that I made the right choice for the citizens. And knowing that when I retire and I’m still in the community, I can walk with my grandchildren and be like, you know what, this water liner is still in the ground. That’s what I want to walk away with.”