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Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing Partner with Imagine H2O to Launch 
USD1 Million Global Innovation Challenge for Urban Water Scarcity

News   •   Mar 15, 2018 14:56 EDT

Bluewater water stations help address water scarcity in Cape Town, South Africa, by turning water previously regarded as unsafe to drink into pristine drinking water.

San Francisco, March 15, 2018 – Bluewater, a world leader in drinking water technologies and solutions, and 11th Hour Racing, a US organization that establishes strategic partnerships to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean, today launched a global innovation competition to address urban drinking water scarcity challenges.

The program, launched under the Imagine H2O’s Global Water Accelerator Program, will have a financial commitment up to a total USD1 million in deployment awards and potential follow-on investment. Additionally, the Global Innovation Challenge will fully align with U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 6, which stimulates global action toward the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

“The Imagine H2O 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge represents an exciting opportunity to unleash water entrepreneurship and innovation to help people and urban authorities in megacities manage water resources in an age of growing scarcity,” said Bengt Rittri, the environmental entrepreneur who founded Bluewater. Mr. Rittri noted how the UN has predicted a 40% shortfall in global water supply by 2030, while urban water demand is set to increase by 55% over the same period.

The 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge will be an initiative of Imagine H2O, the global water innovation accelerator. As a recognized path to market for emerging water solutions, more than 900 startups from 40 countries have participated in the program since 2009.

Entrepreneurs developing promising solutions related to Alternative Supply, Distributed Access and Delivery and, Ecosystem Health will be invited to apply. Winners will be honored at a special event at Stockholm Water Week, in the Swedish capital, at the end of August 2018, with Bluewater founder, Bengt Rittri.

There are currently 37 megacities with populations of 10 million plus. The UN forecasts that the 54 percent of the world population currently living in urban areas will rise to 66 percent by 2050, a mass urbanization that will exacerbate the challenge of managing living environments.

“Through our partnerships with the 45,000-mile Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we connected with Bluewater. Together, we aim to solve the challenge of providing clean drinking water and avoiding single-use plastic bottles. We saw first-hand in Cape Town the consequences of water scarcity, as this city rapidly approaches Day Zero. Imagine H2O’s 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge is an exciting opportunity to address this critical issue – for all at-risk communities,” said Jeremy Pochman, Co-founder of 11th Hour Racing.

“The Challenge is designed to create direct and scalable impact for water-scarce cities and at-risk communities, inspire community awareness and public action, promote the role of innovation and entrepreneurship, and facilitate the deployment of real solutions to a real problem,” said Anders Jacobson, President of Bluewater and co-founder and CEO of Blue, the holding company that owns Bluewater.

The Global Innovation Challenge will open to applications in April 2018, more information is available here

About Imagine H2O

Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to deploy and develop innovation to solve water challenges globally. The organization’s water innovation accelerator provides entrepreneurs with the resources, insight and visibility to launch and scale water solutions. By partnering with industry and policy experts and a global network of customers and investors, Imagine H2O has become a proven path to market for emerging water technology businesses. Since 2009, organization’s program alumni have collectively raised more than 1 in every 10 dollars of venture capital in the water industry. www.ImagineH2O.org

About 11th Hour Racing

11th Hour Racing establishes strategic partnerships within the sailing and maritime communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean. Since 2010, 11th Hour Racing has been harnessing the power of sport with an innovative and comprehensive approach through three primary areas of engagement: grantees, partners, and ambassadors. www.11thhourracing.org

About Bluewater

Bluewater is a world leader innovating, manufacturing, and commercializingwater purification technologies and solutions that harness the company’s patented reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from water, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine, micro plastic fibres and lime-scale. http://www.bluewatergroup.com.

For more information about the challenge and each entity, please contact the relevant spokespeople below:

11th Hour Racing, contact Alessandra Ghezzi, 11th Hour Racing Director of Communications, at aghezzi@11thhourracing.org or +1 401 5365031

Bluewater, contact David Noble, Bluewater head of PR & Communication, at david.noble@bluewatergroup.com or +7785 302 694

Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing are signatories to the United Nations #CleanSeas Pledge.

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