Water ATM , Urban Water Challenge 2020

Building Water Resilience and Why it Matters Now More Than Ever

The 3rd Annual Urban Water Challenge is calling entrepreneurs Accelerating Water Sustainability Through Innovation to apply to the program and unlock funding of up to $275k

Cities around the world are increasingly struggling to meet the growing demand for water in a time of uncertainty. In 2019, Chennai’s local reservoirs vanished, causing residents to wait in lines for delivery trucks to provide them water for essential needs. Just this week, Detroit confirmed that it has finally restored access to all of its water customers — some of whom experienced shutoff due to household level economic fallout from COVID-19. For the 1 billion people living beyond the pipe in informal settlements and slums, clean water and soap are often limited, putting them at the frontlines of the current pandemic.

Building urban water resilience is key to ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all, especially during crisis. The urgency to adapt and transform in the face of immediate and future challenges has intensified to a new level in a matter of weeks.

Innovation remains an underutilized tool in addressing water resiliency in cities. Yet a growing number of technologies and solutions are becoming more accessible to city leaders, businesses, and individuals. These range from artificial intelligence powered leak detection models and water ATMs that provide safe and affordable drinking water, to cloud connected sensors that monitor floods and decentralized wastewater systems.