News | March 8, 2018

Intelligent Water Systems Challenge Seeks Solutions To Issues Facing Water Utilities

A first-of-its-kind event is challenging participants to use innovation and data to help solve some of the most difficult issues facing water and wastewater utilities.

The Intelligent Water Systems Challenge is hosted by the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT), a joint effort of the Water Environment Federation and the Water Research Foundation. Utilities that would like to submit a challenge to be solved must apply by March 23. The deadline for teams to register for the challenge is April 6.

The Intelligent Water Challenge offers students, professionals and technology experts an opportunity to combine their talents and innovation with tools and data to help utilities better understand the dynamics of complex systems for making better decisions. General problem statements and example datasets, along with a series of informational webinars on datasets and underlying systems, will be provided to participants. Teams will be given descriptions of example scenarios along with datasets. Scenarios will focus on collection systems, wastewater treatment systems, drinking water treatment systems, source water/watershed, and distribution networks.

The challenge will run from April 9 to September 3. Teams with exceptional and innovative solutions will present their results for final judging in New Orleans on October 1 at WEFTEC 2018, WEF’s 91st annual technical exhibition and conference. The winning teams will receive cash awards, including a $25,000 top prize sponsored by Xylem, Inc.

“As we continue to support and promote innovation in the water sector, we are also looking for ways to integrate practical applications,” WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill said. “Our hope is that the Intelligent Water Systems Challenge will demonstrate the value of intelligent water systems to utilities and help foster the adoption of smart water technologies.”

The Intelligent Water Systems Challenge is also supported by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN), the International Society of Automation’s (ISA) Water and Wastewater Division, Cleveland Water Alliance, The International Society of Automation, The Water Council, Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP), and BlueTech Research.

For more information, visit

About WEF
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 34,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation. For more information, visit

About WRF
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is a not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF delivers scientifically sound research solutions and knowledge to serve our subscribers and stakeholders in all areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse. WRF has funded and managed more than 1,500 research studies from asset management to treatment, utility finance to resource management, conveyance systems to water quality. For more information, visit

SOURCE: The Water Environment Federation (WEF)