Meet the entrepreneurs reimagining a water-resilient future
Imagine H2O announces six finalists for the 2019 Urban Water Challenge
Urban communities are at the frontlines of the global water crisis. While Chennai grapples with a worsening water shortage, Day Zero has become a reality for a majority of the city’s 10 million residents. Cape Town averted the unthinkable in 2018, but conservation measures remain in place and long-term resilience uncertain. As recent as 2014, São Paulo, Latin America’s largest city, almost ran out of water. The pressures faced by cities will continue to build. By 2050, the UN estimates that an additional 2.5 billion people will be living in urban areas.
In partnership with Bluewater (Sweden) and 11th Hour Racing (USA), Imagine H2O launched the second annual Urban Water Challenge, a global deployment program for entrepreneurs reimagining a water-resilient future for cities. The 2019 Challenge unlocks support to jumpstart ambitious innovation projects that restore drinking water supply, provide on-site pollution control, and improve off-grid access to urban communities.
The Urban Water Challenge Evaluation Committee selected six solutions from five different countries to be showcased at World Water Week in Stockholm. The 2019 startup finalists are Indra (India), SmarterHomes(India), StormSensor (USA) Upepo (Kenya), WatchTower Robotics(USA), and Zilper Trenchless (USA/Colombia).
The Challenge’s Founding Partners committed $500,000 in cash awards and pilot funding to validate and scale the winning solutions with fast-growing cities 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.
The finalists were selected from a field of 226 startups from 38 countries representing a diverse range of water technologies and business models to strengthen urban water resilience — from high-rise residential buildings in urban India to lead testing and compliance software for water utilities across the United States.
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 water agencies.
- 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.