Bureau of Reclamation Launches Two Prize Challenges Seeking Solutions to Expand Usable Water Supplies

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Arsenic Sensor and More Water, Less Concentrate Challenges Seek Cost-Effective Solutions for Expanding Usable Water Supplies

Graphic showing the water moving through the desalination process.

More Water, Less Concentrate Prize Challenge

Reclamation is launching two new prize challenges, Arsenic Sensor Challenge and More Water, Less Concentrate.

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching two new prize challenges, Arsenic Sensor Challenge and More Water, Less Concentrate. This is the first stage for each challenge. Subsequent stages with larger prize purses are planned for testing and demonstrating the most promising technologies.

The Arsenic Sensor Challenge seeks to identify new or improved sensors, devices or test kits to measure arsenic in water in natural and engineered systems. Current analytical methods are suitable for ensuring regulatory compliance. However, Reclamation and its collaborators identified a need for rapid, low-cost monitoring of arsenic that would benefit water treatment plant operations, wastewater monitoring, contaminated site remediation, private well owners, scientific research, and other interested parties.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contributed significant efforts to the design of this prize competition, and Xylem Inc., a global water technology company, became a co-sponsor through its contribution to the prize purse. The Indian Health Service, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Agricultural Research Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated on various aspects of the development of this challenge.

The More Water, Less Concentrate prize challenge seeks innovative solutions to expand usable water supplies by maximizing fresh water production from inland desalination systems in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner. Many inland communities are exploring desalination as a method to provide a new source of water. This challenge may help them by minimizing the concentrate stream volume and associated handling costs while maximizing the usable water produced by the process.

The Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, and Water Research Foundation are collaborating with Reclamation on various aspects of this challenge.

To register and learn more about these prize challenges and the visions for the future stages of competition, visit http://www.challenge.gov. To learn more about Reclamation’s Water Prize Challenge Center, visit http://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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