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Six finalists chosen for 2019 Imagine H20 Urban Drinking Water Challenge

Press release   •   Aug 14, 2019 08:00 EDT

Facing urban water scarcity, Cape Town citizens line up for drinking water during the city's 2018 water crisis (Credit: Cavan / Alamy Stock Photo)

Stockholm and San Francisco, August 14, 2019 -- Imagine H2O and Founding Partners Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing have announced the 2019 finalists of the Urban Water Challenge, a global deployment program for entrepreneurs reimagining a water-resilient future. Over 220 startups from 38 countries applied to the Challenge representing a diverse range of innovative solutions to the global water crisis - from on-site pollution control to off-grid safe drinking water supply. Imagine H2O’s Evaluation Committee selected six businesses from five different countries to be honored at World Water Week in Stockholm.

The Challenge’s Founding Partners committed $500,000 in cash awards and pilot funding to validate and scale the winning solutions with fast-growing urban communities globally. Each finalist will showcase their solutions at World Water Week in Stockholm on August 25-30, 2019. Two winners from the cohort will be announced during the Challenge’s Award Ceremony hosted by Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing on August 26 and will be eligible for additional pilot funding awards.

“With a quarter of the world’s population of 7.7 billion wondering where their next drink of water is coming from, the planet already is coping with a water crisis,” said Anders Jacobson, Bluewater President. “It will only get worse as the UN projects that global demand will exceed supply by 40 percent in 2030. We are excited about the innovative solutions that have been developed by the finalists of our second annual Urban Water Challenge. This group of global entrepreneurs shows what is possible for a water-secure future.”

Led by a panel of industry experts, the Challenge finalists were evaluated on the basis of commercial viability, market readiness and impact. “It was a privilege to be part of the Evaluation Committee and I commend all the applicants for their tireless efforts to address water challenges around the world,” said Michelle Carnevale, Grants Program Director, 11th Hour Racing. “We are thrilled to put a spotlight on the Challenge finalists and their innovative solutions toadvancing the UN Sustainable Goals as part of 11th Hour Racing’s commitment to the environment through innovation.”

Meet the Urban Water Challenge 2019 Finalists:

  • Indra: deploying modular, decentralized industrial effluent and wastewater treatment systems in Mumbai.
  • SmarterHomes: expanding a smart water metering solution to apartment buildings in water stressed communities in Namibia.
  • StormSensor: providing real-time data and insights to US utilities, allowing them to better manage changing stormwater conditions.
  • Upepo: integrating low cost measuring devices with Narrow-Band IoT to provide real time revenue and water loss management data to Kenyan utilities.
  • WatchTower Robotics: scaling an untethered robotic tool for high-accuracy mapping and early leak detection in water distribution networks in Vietnam.
  • Zilper Trenchless: deploying a trenchless technology in Colombia to install and replace water pipes without the need for excavation.

About Imagine H2O

Imagine H2O (IH2O) is a nonprofit organization that empowers people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally. Since 2009, the organization’s water innovation accelerator has helped over 100 startups with the resources, insight and visibility to launch and scale their businesses. In 2017 and 2018, IH2O portfolio companies received 30% of early-stage investment in the water sector. In 2019, IH2O launched its first hub outside the United States. IH2O Asia will be a Singapore-based, regional accelerator program that bridges global innovation to cities and communities across Southeast Asia. https://www.imagineh2o.org/urban-water-challenge

About the Founding Challenge Partners

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: sponsorships, grantees, and ambassadors. Please visit us at www.11thhourracing.org.

Bluewater is a world leader in innovating, manufacturing, and commercializing water purification technologies and solutions for residential, business and public use that harness the company’s patented second-generation reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from water, including micro plastic fibers, lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine, and lime-scale. Bluewater is wholly owned by Blue, a Stockholm-based global investment company that serves as a catalyst for innovations that can solve some of the major challenges facing our planet and all living on it. Please visit us at www.bluewatergroup.com or www.blueab.se

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For more information and updates about the Urban Challenge, please visit https://www.imagineh2o.org/urban-water-challenge or contact David Noble, PR & Communications Director, at david.noble@bluewatergroup.com or +44 7785 302 694

Bluewater is a world leading water purification company with its global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Bluewater innovates, manufactures and comercializes compact water purifiers for residential, business and public use that harness the company’s patented reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from tap water, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine, micro-plastics and lime-scale. Please visit us at www.bluewatergroup.com

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