Imagine H2O
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Imagine H2O

Scale your urban tech with the Urban Water Challenge IV

Applications to Imagine H2O’s UWC are live, apply today!

The Urban Water Challenge is our global competition for entrepreneurs who are ready to launch tech solutions to advance water sustainability in coastal cities. The Challenge gives new urban water tech a powerful opportunity to shine on a global stage — and provides communities with a steady flow of tested solutions that can make their cities’ water systems more efficient, equitable, healthy, and resilient.

Finalists receive a combination of financial awards, pilot focused curriculum and mentorship, showcase opportunities, and introductions to potential partners and investors. With this support and industry-wide validation, startups gain new opportunities for tech adoption, scaling, and follow-on funding.

Urban Water Challenge IV will unlock up to $365k in Pilot Awards to fund solutions to pressing water problems. The Challenge is supported by 11th Hour Racing and Oceankind, and the broader Imagine H2O ecosystem.

L-R: Emrgy, Indra Water, Fluid Robotics
  • Cities are thirsty: Urban areas occupy 2–4% of the earth’s land surface and consume 42% of the earth’s land surface worth of water
  • Cities are only going to need more water: By 2050, 65% of the population is expected to live in urban areas and the demand for water is expected to increase by 20–30%.
  • Cities are hurting people and our planet: 900M city-dwellers lack access to safe water or sanitation. Every year cities dump 70 trillion gallons of untreated human waste into our waterways and oceans.
  • Cities are impacted by climate change…and climate change is water change: Global warming is disrupting the water cycle. Our current infrastructure is ill-equipped to sustain water, sanitation and stormwater services in the face of erratic and unpredictable changes to the climate.

Coastal cities are on the climate frontline. 90% of cities are coastal, which puts them at risk of flooding, powerful storms and tropical cyclones. By 2050, over 570 coastal cities will be at risk from storm surges due to projected sea level rise, impacting 800 million people. This disproportionately impacts low income and communities of color that lack the basic infrastructure to support them. The global economic cost of this could amount to $1 Trillion per year.

But as innovation and business hubs, cities have the power to unlock solutions for an equitable, efficient, healthy and resilient future.

L-R: Zilper Trenchless, Drinkwell, Epic Cleantec

The Challenge will source solutions that enable and accelerate progress towards transforming the future of water in coastal cities. We are looking for startups advancing progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by making coastal cities more equitable, efficient, healthy and resilient.

L-R: Varuna, Field Factors, Cloud to Street

In addition to applicants, we welcome partners throughout all phases of the Challenge, whether you want to nominate a startup, support their success or just learn more. Contact us at



Imagine H2O empowers people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally.

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Imagine H2O

The water innovation accelerator. Empowering people to deploy and develop #innovation to solve water challenges globally.