Hackers Tackle Water Crisis At Europe's Biggest Hackathon
Global water technology company, Xylem, has awarded a team of hackathon participants who developed an innovative app to promote sustainable water consumption. Team WatApp won HackZurich 2022’s Xylem Water Challenge with their social gaming app that helps people make smart water choices in their everyday lives, build long-term water-saving habits, and share their results with friends.
Having sponsored the event for the last two years, Xylem continues to challenge teams to solve global water issues with a unique, digital approach. This year, Xylem asked hackathon participants to develop a multi-faceted solution to change the public’s water habits and increase awareness of water threats through a revolutionary social gaming app that would improve water sustainability. WatApp achieved this over a non-stop 40-hour hackathon event in Zurich, Switzerland.
With water scarcity affecting billions of people globally each year, the WatApp team created an app that would improve water consumption habits by suggesting more sustainable choices using educational gaming features. The recommendations are generated from answers to personalized weekly challenges, taking data on current habits and location into consideration. The app also presents water savings within a local context, for example, if you live in Switzerland the app will compare the amount of water you save to the daily average water consumption of a Swiss person.
“This year, Europe experienced the worst drought in 500 years. It has never been clearer how urgently we need to develop new, innovative, digital solutions to improve water sustainability,” said Hayati Yarkadas, Xylem’s President for Europe. “The participants in the annual Xylem Water Challenge are inspiring examples of the potential within the next generation of innovators. Their passion for solving real-world water problems will help make our world more sustainable.”
“I would never have imagined how much water goes into the development of consumer goods, particularly through indirect consumption. If we can make more people aware of sustainable water consumption, we can drive meaningful change.” said Konstantinos Samaras-Tsakiris, a member of the WatApp team.
Xylem’s partnership with HackZurich is part of the Xylem Ignite program, a global initiative to build and empower a network of student leaders passionate about water solutions and driving change in the water industry. The program has already engaged more than 6,600 students in learning about and solving water challenges.