Jan 28, 2016

Inaugural Imagine H20 Water Policy Challenge Aims to Drive Water Tech Adoption

Winners offer policy recommendations to drive adoption of water technologies in California

california drought, water policy challenge

Imagine H2O announced the results of its inaugural California Water Policy Challenge. The initiative, which seeks to advance the market for water innovation through forward-thinking policy, attracted more than 100 submissions from academia, the private sector, government entities and nongovermental organizations. Successful applicants presented Imagine H2O with actionable policy recommendations to drive adoption of water technologies by California's cities, farms and industries.

Public policy is vital to helping California deploy water technology more effectively while inspiring the state's innovation economy to tackle the looming water crisis. Imagine H2O, the water innovation accelerator, launched the California Water Policy Challenge to highlight the need to overcome regulatory barriers to innovation and catalyze public-private collaboration on policy design and implementation.

The challenge's judging panel, comprised of experts in California water policy, selected a winner and three finalists to be featured at a forum in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 9. Policymakers and key stakeholders will discuss the proposals and the opportunities and challenges in the path towards implementation.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) teamed up on the winning proposal and will receive up to $25,000 in support. The partnership presented a compelling case for how discrete policy improvements to water reuse and recycling standards could incentivize water users to deploy onsite treatment technologies.

The challenge recognizes three additional proposals as finalists. The Freshwater Trust aims to improve coordination between groundwater and flood control agencies through a novel innovative recharge crediting scheme; Greywater Action and the Decentralized Water Policy Council offer guidance to streamline permitting of residential greywater systems; and WaterNow Alliance addresses constraints in public finance to better empower utilities to adopt new sustainable water technologies at scale.