World Water Week

New videos of Urban Drinking Water Challenge 2018 Winners

We were thrilled to join thousands of attendees at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden to discuss and work on the UN Sustainable Development Goal #6 – ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. We were thrilled to meet the winners of the Imagine H2O Urban Drinking Water Challenge 2018, that we are a founding partner of, along with Bluewater, and hearing the stories of how their founders became passionate about solving different water crises.

Our Program Director, Todd McGuire joined each of the founders, along with Anders Jacobson, CEO, and Co-founder of Bluewater, for a “sofa session” to learn about the challenges the organizations are tackling. Watch below to find out what drives these innovators.

From the most densely populated city in the world, Dhaka, Bangladesh, to the Flint, Michigan, water crisis in the USA, to water-stressed cities in India, the challenge winners are already taking action thanks to the Urban Drinking Water Challenge 2018 deployment awards.

Impressively, the challenge had 160 applicants from 37 countries. Winners were evaluated by commercial viability, impact and market readiness. The winning startups merge technology with innovative business models to improve the reach and sustainability of drinking water services.

Drinkwell (Bangladesh), is addressing the problem of safe water access in Dhaka, the most densely populated city in the world. Three million people in Dhaka live in low-income communities, and most are forced to drink unsafe water from illegal sources. To combat this issue, Drinkwell is expanding its low electricity, pay-as-you-go water purification stations that remove arsenic from water – a persistent problem throughout the country.

Microlyze (United States), is deploying real-time water testing devices to empower households and provide cost-effective monitoring for utility companies. An estimated 22 million people are exposed to lead and other contaminants through their water in the US, often due to aging infrastructure in cities. Microlyze’s tool for analyzing can easily be attached to a smartphone, which delivers results in minutes and can be crowdsourced across a given community and accessed by the utility to uncover potential threats and inform on infrastructure improvements and more.

SmartTerra (India), is equipping second-tier Indian cities, over 5,000 of which provide water intermittently, with the tools for data-driven decision making to improve delivery and access of water to the underserved. Growth in these cities outpaces infrastructure improvements, and therefore water supply is often unequal leaving large segments of the population without safe and reliable access. Water stress affecting millions magnify these challenges, and preventable deaths to unsafe drinking water remain high.

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