photo of jamie and rob mackinnon with the archie watt award

Local business owners Rob and Jamie MacKinnon of MacKinnon Water Solutions in Pembroke, are the 2018 recipients of the sixteenth Archie Watt Award for Excellence in Sustaining Groundwater Resources. The presentation was made at the annual Ontario Ground Water Association (OGWA) convention, held in Ottawa this past March.

Rob and Jamie were recognized by the OGWA for their many years of professional dedication and ongoing work in sustaining groundwater resources.

In presenting the award, OGWA Executive Director Craig Stainton noted that “Rob and Jamie MacKinnon, through their conduct have proven themselves as most worthy recipients of this award.”

Jamie and Rob are second generation owners of MacKinnon Water Solutions, proudly building on the family business established in 1970 by their parents, Bill and Ann.

Our parents taught us to always aim for 100% customer satisfaction. We’re very proud to be seen in the community as a trustworthy and respected family owned company. Now, to be recognized by our industry peers — well, it’s all very rewarding.”


Originally established with a focus on rural well drilling, over the last 48 years the MacKinnon’s have expanded the business to also offer expertise in well upgrades and pressure systems, environmentally friendly water treatment, and geothermal for heating and cooling.

Employing about a dozen full-time staff year round, the MacKinnon Water Solutions commercial operation is located in Pembroke on the B-Line at Trans Canada Hwy 17. From here they service customers throughout the Upper Ottawa Valley, from Stonecliffe through to Arnprior, in communities throughout the Madawaska and Bonnechere Valleys, and over on the Quebec side.

“It’s been very rewarding to build on the solid base that our parents established,” says younger brother Jamie. “We’re continually looking at how to leverage our expertise, so that we can offer new technologies to better service our customers. For instance, the XS drilling system we use has reinvented the well drilling sector in this region.”

“We’re a growing business,” says Rob, “but we’re local, and still small enough to care. That’s important to us.”

The OGWA was created in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization to facilitate collaboration among various sectors of the groundwater industry with a goal to ensure delivery of safe, clean water throughout the province.

The Archie Watt Award was established by the OGWA in 2002 in recognition of Mr Watt, who wrote the Well Water Act in 1947 and is known as the grandfather of groundwater in Ontario. The Archie Watt trophy is on permanent display at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough.