Dennis Wierzbicki, president of Grundfos USA

As worldwide population continues to expand, addressing water scarcity becomes vitally important. In order to protect this precious natural resource, we must empower the next generation to create better, more efficient water management solutions.

That’s why we were so excited to bring the Grundfos Challenge to the U.S. this year. The Challenge is a competition that gives business and engineering students the opportunity to design groundbreaking solutions for managing the world’s scarce water resources.

Last summer’s brutal drought highlighted the need for innovation in the water industry. Our goal with the Challenge was to help these students understand the crucial role they play in developing solutions for a changing world.

I was incredibly impressed by the caliber of the ideas I saw. In just 22 hours of competition, the students arrived at some of the same conclusions that it’s taken the water industry decades to develop. Watching the teams present left me confident about the future of the water industy.

I know the U.S. teams will make us proud during the global competition against students from China and Denmark next spring.

Dennis Wierzbicki is president of Grundfos USA, the American branch of the international water technology company. Wierzbicki also serves as president of the Hydraulic Institute.