7th March 2016

Geovation Water Challenge winners announced


Well done to all the finalists who took part in the Water Challenge Geovation Camp held at Ordnance Survey over the weekend 4-6 March. The finalists had been selected as the best ideas entered to our Geovation Challenge to tackle problems associated with improving water use in Britain sustainably.

Over the weekend the 10 invited teams used the Innovation = Problem x Solution x Execution equation to develop their prototype venture, using design principles and focus on how they could build a sustainable business model to take their ideas forward.

The teams were supported by service designers and helpers from Ordnance Survey and the Geovation Hub, as well as expert help from those with domain and licensing knowledge and experience in business models.

On Sunday the teams delivered 5 minute pitches and the judging panel asked questions to dive deeper into their water ideas.   The panel then selected the 3 to be offered extras support and funding through the Geovation Programme. The assembled audience of helpers and team members also voted for the team to receive a £1000 Community Award.

winner refillable use copyRefillable Cities

The team of Natalie Fee, Olivia Drake, Thomas Bell and Gus Hoyt will further establish Refill Bristol and aim to roll out nationwide with their app to pinpoint and endorse free tap water refill points at streets, cafes, retailers, hotels and businesses around the city. This is to reduce dependency on plastic bottled water, and change the public mind-set of using plastics that end up in our oceans. The app will capture data and reward and encourage behaviour change by allowing users to build points to exchange for money off vouchers, and gamification.  Refillable Cities also won the Community Award of £1,000.


winner natural flood mitigation (sustainable catchments)[1] copySustainable Catchments (formerly Natural Flood Mitigation)

Steve Buss and Mark Fermor’s idea will allow communities to employ natural flood mitigation to identify and build models of sustainable catchment opportunities which will  #slowtheflow of flooding of communities downstream.  The team who have catchment expertise and experience in building models will make information available via subscription or one off reports.




winner fix our water[1] copyFix Our Water

The team comprising Morag and Craig Embleton will use functionality similar to fixmystreet.com.  Using a smartphone app people will record instances and crowdsource information from people such as walkers, or those who do freshwater fishing to let relevant authorities know about water problems including river pollution, flooding, overflowing drains and breach hotspots so they can take action.




Other finalists received feedback and the judges offered advice on how they could take their ideas forward and possible connections.

We were delighted to be collaborating with Environment Agency, DEFRA (whose release of thousands of open data sets coincides with the Geovation Challenge), Southern Water, and United Utilities on this Geovation Challenge.