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Water Resource Recovery Prize Launches to Inspire Innovators to Help Meet the Water Security Grand Challenge

Jan. 29, 2020

Graphic announcing Water Resource Recovery Prize.
 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) has launched the Water Resource Recovery Prize, a $1 million two-phased competition designed to increase resource recovery from municipal wastewater treatment plants across the United States.

Resource recovery allows wastewater treatment plants to turn otherwise unused elements, such as water, energy, and nutrients, into marketable products. Efforts can reduce the amount of grid electricity required to operate a wastewater treatment plant and treated wastewater can offer a substitute for other water sources for industrial, agricultural, and municipal use.

Through this prize, DOE seeks novel, systems-based solutions from multidisciplinary teams to stimulate resource recovery and implement strategies at small- to medium-sized Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs). The prize is open only to WRRFs with flows up to 50 million gallons per day.

The competition is part of the Water Security Grand Challenge – a White House-initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.

“By launching this prize, DOE is inspiring innovators to help us meet the Water Security Grand Challenge goal of doubling resource recovery from WRRFs by 2030,” said John Smegal, the workforce development lead with DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

In the first phase of the competition, teams will submit an engineering schematic, a business case, and a technical description that demonstrate their proposed solution’s potential for cost-effectiveness and viability of resource recovery. 

At the conclusion of Phase 1, DOE anticipates selecting up to 10 winning teams for cash prizes of up to $50,000 each. Phase 1 submissions are due no later than 5 p.m. (ET) on April 28.

Teams selected during Phase 1 will move into the second phase of the competition. DOE expects to give teams one year from Phase 1 selection to submit final Phase 2 materials.

More specific rules governing Phase 2 submissions will be released at the conclusion of Phase 1 in late May. As many as two teams will be selected to receive up to $250,000 each in total cash prizes.

View the submission instructions and participant eligibility guidelines.