Urban water scarcity poses a huge threat to human and planetary wellbeing, but human ingenuity can be harnessed to find solutions says Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing (Credit: Steven_Kriemadis,  iStock photo)

Drinking Water Innovation Startups in over 25 Countries Respond to Imagine H2O’s Urban Drinking Water Challenge Ahead of Deadline

Stockholm, Sweden, June 25, 2018 – A diverse list of ‘waterpreneurs’ from over 25 countries globally have registered for the Imagine H2O 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge ahead of the July 2, 2018 application deadline. The Challenge offers financial commitment up to a total USD1 million in deployment awards and potential follow-on investment.

Launched by Bluewater, a world leader in drinking water technologies and solutions, and 11th Hour Racing, a US organization that establishes strategic partnerships to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean, the Challenge inspires action towards urban water scarcity.

“We’re very pleased with the interest in the Challenge and encourage water entrepreneurs to join this competition to catalyze urban drinking water solutions,” said Bengt Rittri (photo below), founder and CEO of Bluewater. He underlined the need for human ingenuity to solve the 40-percent shortfall in global water supply by 2030 predicted by the United Nations.

Of the 90+registered startups in the Challenge so far, 48 percent are from North America, 20 percent from Africa, 16 percent from Europe and 11 percent from Asia. The top five countries are in the following order: USA, Canada, India, UK and Uganda.

There are currently 37 megacities with populations of 10 million plus. The UN forecasts that the 54 percent of the world population currently living in urban areas will rise to 66 percent by 2050, a mass urbanization that will exacerbate the challenge of managing living environments.

The 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge is an initiative of Imagine H2O, the global water innovation accelerator. As a recognized path to market for emerging water solutions, more than 900 start-ups from 40 countries have participated in the program since 2009. A specific Asia track supported by Enterprise Singapore will offer additionally deployment grants to Challenge winners working in Southeast Asia.

Entrepreneurs developing promising solutions related to Alternative Supply, Distributed Access and Delivery and, Ecosystem Health are invited to apply. Winners will be honored at a special event at Stockholm Water Week, in the Swedish capital, on August 27, 2018.

“The rich pool of applicants clearly highlights the global interest on the growing issue of water scarcity, and the drive to find scalable and innovative solutions. The next stages of the challenge will be extremely interesting, with the evaluation of the candidates starting right after July 2,” said Todd McGuire, 11th Hour Racing Program Director.

“We want the Challenge to facilitate the deployment of real solutions to a real problem already facing water-scarce cities,” added Anders Jacobson, President of Bluewater.

Those interested in entering the Challenge can apply here.

About Imagine H2OImagine H2O is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to deploy and develop innovation to solve water challenges globally. The organization’s water innovation accelerator provides entrepreneurs with the resources to launch and scale water solutions. Since 2009, Imagine H2O’s program alumni have collectively raised more than 1 in every 10 dollars of venture capital in the water industry. www.ImagineH2O.org

About 11th Hour Racing
11th Hour Racing establishes strategic partnerships within the sailing and maritime communities to promote collaborative, systemic change benefitting the health of our ocean. Since 2010, 11th Hour Racing has been harnessing the power of sport with an innovative and comprehensive approach through three primary areas of engagement: grantees, partners, and ambassadors. www.11thhourracing.org

About Bluewater
Bluewater is a world leader innovating, manufacturing, and commercializingwater purification technologies and solutions that harness the company’s patented reverse osmosis technology to remove virtually all pollutants from water, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chlorine, micro plastic fibres and lime-scale.

For more information about the challenge and each entity, please contact the relevant spokespeople below:

Bluewater, contact David Noble, Bluewater PR & Communications Director, at david.noble@bluewatergroup.com or +7785 302 694

11th Hour Racing, contact Alessandra Ghezzi, 11th Hour Racing Director of Communications, at aghezzi@11thhourracing.org or +1 401 5365031

Bluewater and 11th Hour Racing are both proud signatories to the United Nations #CleanSeas Pledge.