Intelligent Water Systems Challenge aims to solve industry challenges

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and The Water Research Foundation have launched the fourth Intelligent Water Systems Challenge to spur the increased use of technology and data to solve some of the most difficult issues faced by the water industry.

Winners of the Intelligent Water Systems Challenge 2021.
Winners of the Intelligent Water Systems Challenge 2021. - Image: Water Environment Federation

For the Intelligent Water Systems Challenge, teams assemble from utilities, engineering firms, technology companies, and universities and then work to develop innovative solutions for specific scenarios. This year, the scenarios focus on collection systems, wastewater treatment systems, drinking water treatment systems, source water, and distribution networks. Teams must register by 11 April.

A panel of water experts will evaluate submissions, identify teams for the finals, select winners at WEFTEC, WEF’s annual Technical Education and Conference to be held 8–12 October in New Orleans. The winning team will receive a cash award of US$10,000. In addition, Xylem will be awarding US$2,500 for the “Most Elegant Solution.”

The Intelligent Water Systems Challenge provides professionals and students with the unique opportunity to collaborate and help utilities solve existing problems,” said WEF President Jamie Eichenberger. “The competition showcases the value of intelligent water systems to utilities and fosters adoption of technology that harnesses the power of data, which is critical to our sector.”

The Intelligent Water Systems Challenge is hosted by LIFT, a joint effort by WEF and The Water Research Foundation and supported by the American Water Works Association, BlueTech Research, Cleveland Water Alliance, IEEE Smart Cities R&D Committee, International Society of Automation Water and Wastewater Industries Division, Smart Water Networks Forum, and The Water Council.  To date, more than US$80,000 in prize money has been awarded and 116 teams have participated.