Judging Panel For The Innovation In Water Challenge Revealed

Water efficiency - H2O Building Services


The judging panel for Ofwat’s inaugural £2 million Innovation in Water Challenge has been announced, which has been launched to help tackle the biggest challenges currently facing the water industry.


Ofwat has teamed up with Nesta Challenges, Arup and Isle Utilities to launch the Challenge, with the judging panel made up of Nicole Ballantyne from the Knowledge Transfer Network, Myrtle Dawes of OGTC, Chris Newsome from the UK Water Partnership, Dragan Savic from the KWR Water Research Institute, Adam Scorer from National Energy Action, Rachel Skinner from the Institution of Civil Engineers, Lila Thompson from British Water and Rhodri Williams from the Consumer Council for Water.


The Challenge is looking for innovative and collaborative initiatives that meet the future needs of customers, society and the environment, addressing issues such as achieving net zero, protecting natural ecosystems from leakages and pollution, and delivering better value for money for customers across England and Wales.


This particular scheme is the first of two that will launch in 2021 as part of Ofwat’s £200 million Innovation Fund. The aim is to support initiatives that the water sector would otherwise struggle to explore or invest in, with each winning entrant receiving between £50,000 and £250,000.


“We have a fantastic panel of judges working together with us on this Challenge – drawing expertise from a number of sectors and disciplines that, together, will bring invaluable insight to the judging and assessing process.


“We believe partnerships and collaboration are at the heart of meeting the challenges facing the water industry – and we are looking forward to receiving new and exciting ideas that will help change the sector for years to come,” senior director at Ofwat John Russell said.


Entries for the first round of the competition closed on February 26th, but a second round is expected to open in November this year, with more information due to be made available at a later date.


The five strategic innovation themes, as set out by Ofwat, are responding and adapting to climate change, restoring and improving the ecological status of water environments, understanding long-term operational resilience and infrastructure risks to find solutions to mitigate these, testing new ways of conducting core activities and exploring the opportunities associated with open data to stimulate innovation and collaboration.


It will certainly be interesting to see what sort of impact these competitions have where the water crisis is concerned.


You may well think that, given the UK’s famously damp climate, that we aren’t going to be affected by water stress and scarcity in the future, but this couldn’t be further from the case and it’s essential that work is carried out to help build resilience and protect this precious resource for future generations.


If you’d like to find out how you, as a business, can become more water efficient, get in touch with the team here at H2o Building Services today.