Chronicle Journal: Finance

Bureau of Reclamation Partners with HeroX and NASA Tournament Lab to Crowdsource Innovative Sediment Removal Solutions for Critical Water Infrastructure

By: via PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the nation's largest wholesale water supplier, in partnership with NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) and HeroX, the leading crowdsourcing platform for solutions to global problems, today announce the crowdsourcing competition "Guardians of the Reservoir". The challenge calls on the global community of solvers to find an innovative solution to remove and control the amount of silt building up in the reservoirs that provide millions with irrigation, potable water, electricity, flood control, and recreation. The build-up of silt leaves less room for water, and less water means that our reservoirs cannot meet the demand of the communities we serve. Such impacts have been experienced at some Reclamation reservoirs (e.g., Paonia Reservoir, Colorado) and are expected to occur more frequently in the future.

The Bureau of Reclamation and NASA Tournament Lab's "Guardians of the Reservoir" challenge on the crowdsourcing platform, HeroX

The water infrastructure in the United States has aged, and there has been little technological advancement in sediment management for several decades. Despite best efforts, current "best practices" are expensive, energy-costly, and difficult to deploy year-round, given weather constraints (e.g., work can only be done when the reservoir water is not frozen.) Maintenance requires significant manpower and leaves a high carbon footprint. There are currently no robust and cost-effective alternatives available to Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers, who is a collaborator on this challenge.

"Our water infrastructure system serves 31 million people and irrigates 10 million acres of farmland in the United States," said David Raff, Chief Engineer, Bureau of Reclamation. "We are the largest water wholesaler in the country and work hard to reliably deliver water and power in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. We have a duty to maintain our water infrastructure in the West, and we are excited to implement new solutions."

"Improving our water infrastructure may not be the sexiest issue, but it is critically important," said Christian Cotichini, CEO of HeroX. "The HeroX crowdsourcing platform will bring this little-known issue to the attention of our global network of problem solvers, who will use their ingenuity and expertise to design timely, viable solutions."

The Prize: The authors of the most compelling submissions to this Guardians of the Reservoir Challenge will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their technologies at increasing scales for the Challenge sponsors. In addition to prize money, winners will have access to subject matter experts from Reclamation and may receive external test data from their technologies and may have additional opportunities to work with Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or their partners to further develop their approaches.

How to Become a Solver: The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To accept the challenge, visit https://www.herox.com/GuardiansoftheReservoir

ABOUT HEROX

HeroX is a social network for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini, and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd.

Explore the latest challenges at www.herox.com

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SOURCE HeroX

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