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Winners Announced for Ofwat’s First Innovation in Water Challenge

Eleven collaborative entries of the inaugural Innovation in Water Challenge will receive up to £250,000 each to tackle the biggest issues facing the water sector in England and Wales.

Innovations that turn ammonia in wastewater into green energy and use artificial intelligence (AI) or unexploited telecoms cables to detect leaks in the water network are among the winners of Ofwat’s inaugural £2 million Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC).  

Eleven collaborative initiatives led by water companies and involving a number of partner organisations, will receive up to £250,000 each to tackle the biggest issues facing the water sector in England and Wales.   

The winning entries, recommended by an independent panel of judges, include green initiatives such as planting and restoring seagrass meadows on the Essex and Suffolk coastlines, a scheme to turn ammonia in wastewater into green hydrogen gas, and software that can monitor the degradation of wildlife habitats. Other ideas focus on the prevention of leaks in the water network through the use of AI, CCTV, and unexploited optical fibre strands in telecoms networks, as well as using behavioural science to better support vulnerable customers. 

John Russell, Senior Director at Ofwat, said: “Innovation has the potential to drive a sea-change in the water sector and tackle some of the biggest challenges we are facing in society. Solutions that turn wastewater into green hydrogen and the use of artificial intelligence to detect leaks are just some of the cutting-edge winning initiatives that we hope will make a real impact in the coming months and mark the beginning of a new wave of innovation in the sector. 

More details can be found here: https://waterinnovation.challenges.org/news-updates/2021/announcing-the-winners-of-the-first-innovation-in-water-challenge/