Water Tech Challenge

The Water Council connects water technology innovators to opportunities through corporate-sponsored tech challenges.

If you have a water tech idea or prototype with high potential for implementation or commercialization, we’re the link to get you to the next stage of development with corporate sponsors ready to help you make your idea a reality. 

As an applicant, your application will be reviewed by the corporate R&D team sponsors and if you are chosen, you’ll get the opportunity to present your innovation to A.O. SmithBadger Meter and Zurn and compete for:

  • Funding with maximum total prize money of $15,000
  • Opportunity for high potential for joint commercialization with market leaders
  • Access to sponsoring companies’ R&D team expertise

Accepting applications Sept.1 to Nov.1, 2020 


Water Quality Sensing and/or Remediating 

Our Corporate partners are seeking innovative solutions for water quality sensing and/or remediating for:

  1. heavy metals and industrial chemicals (such as lead, PFOA and PFAS) in water and wastewater, and
  2. microbiological organisms in water and remediation using alternative disinfection technologies (non-chlorine)

Potential applications of these technologies include:

  • Presence of illicit discharges to storm and sanitary sewers
  • Presence of pathogens in water distribution system, wastewater effluent and biosolids
  • Process monitoring of wastewater treatment
  • Point of use
  • Industrial applications
  • Municipal water supply
  • Well water disinfection
  • Industrial wastewater discharge
  • Municipal wastewater effluent

Key success criteria:

  • Durable
  • Low cost
  • Long lasting
  • Low energy usage
  • Rapid response
  • Minimizing false positives or false negatives
  • Ability to work in environments with high turbidity and/or high temperature

What racism smells like

Read the full story at The Intercept.

Ravaged by COVID-19, polluted communities demand environmental justice.

New Office of Research Integrity leaders look to bring US agency into the digital age

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Officials are prioritizing evidence preservation and automating image investigation.

BBU recycling bread, buns packaging through TerraCycle partnership

Read the full story at Baking Business.

Bimbo Bakeries USA is forging ahead in its efforts to make the packaging of its bread, buns, bagels and English muffins recyclable across the United States as part of a partnership with TerraCycle. Details of the program first surfaced last fall.

Webinar: The Idea Store: Lessons in Creative Reuse

Oct 8, 2020   12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT
Register here.

Abstract: The Idea Store celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall, proving that creative reuse efforts can garner solid community support.  We’ve learned, through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t, with still much potential for improvement and growth.  Carol Jo will share lessons learned, success stories, nuts and bolts, goals reached, and plans to move forward. Every community can benefit from a well-organized creative reuse center!

Biography: Carol Jo Morgan, MSW, MS, is a co-founder of The Idea Store, a non-profit creative reuse center in Urbana, Illinois.  Her desire is that consumers understand and practice daily diversion of reusable items    and materials from the waste stream.  She was the store’s first educator and has done countless hours of sorting donations, recycling/hauling, volunteer training, public speaking, coordination of its major fundraising events, and serves on the board of directors.

Journey Foods uses AI to create sustainability recipe for food manufacturers

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Riana Lynn’s company, Journey Foods, is dragging the packaged food business into the 21st century. 

“Food manufacturing has really only scaled up in the last 60 years,” she said. “And that means we’re also working on very antiquated methods.” 

Her company’s software uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, data scraping and cohort analysis to recommend the most nutritious and more sustainable ingredients for food companies, such as its partners Ingredion and Unilever.  

Grape Winery Waste as Feedstock for Bioconversions: Applying the Biorefinery Concept

Zacharof, M. “Grape Winery Waste as Feedstock for Bioconversions: Applying the Biorefinery Concept.” Waste Biomass and Valorization 8, 1011–1025 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12649-016-9674-2

Abstract: Grape wine is among the most important alcoholic beverages in the globe, with a continuously rising world demand, currently sizing at 25 billion litres. Such a large and heavily industrialised market calls for the maintenance of a steady production of raw materials to end products. Consequently, intensive cultivation of land, harvesting of the goods and manufacturing for the production of commercially available products are being implemented. Wine making is a timed, multistage process producing a large amount of organic and inorganic waste. It has been calculated that during cultivation and harvesting about 5 tonnes of solid waste are generated per hectare per year, while the winery wastewater varies according to the production size from 650,000 m3 (Greece) to over 18,000,000 m3 (Spain) per year. Conventional treatments of winery waste are becoming increasingly expensive, demanding significant amounts of effort, resources and energy for safe waste discharge. Therefore, the need to recycle, reuse and recover energy and valuable chemicals from winery waste and wastewater becomes apparent. Valorisation of winery waste is possible when introducing the concept of biorefinery, i.e. the use of winery waste as bioconversions feedstock in order to produce platform chemicals, biofuels, heat and energy.

KIND to source 100% of its almonds from ‘bee-friendly’ farmland by 2025

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

KIND Healthy Snacks – which sources 1-2% of the world’s almonds – has made a commitment to procure 100% of its almonds from ‘bee-friendly’ farmland by 2025 in order to accelerate moves to support the pollinators upon which the success of the crop depends.

Boston outer-harbor barrier could generate tidal power

Read the full story in the Boston Herald.

To meet present-day and future flooding events due to rising seas, a design that combines flood damage reduction benefits of storm surge barriers with tidal-flow turbines for renewable energy generation will make better economic justification. 

Cedar Key shoreline project aims to curb storm damage

Read the full story in the Gainesville Sun.

Anytime of the day is a good time on Cedar Key, but dusk is especially good.

Facing west, the horizon of the Gulf of Mexico is the end of the earth for the sun as it’s setting, and G Street is a popular place on the island to watch the day close.

It’s about to get even better. A shoreline restoration project is underway on G Street and on Airport Road that uses a combination of structures and marsh grass to lessen the battering from storms.