9th December 2015

Geovation Water Challenge: Launch 25 November 2015

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As announced last week we have now launched our 9th Geovation Challenge, this year on WATER: ‘How can we better manage water use in Britain, sustainably?’

We were pleased to announce the launch of the Geovation Challenge on 25 November at the All-Party Parliamentary Water Group’s 2015 Water Innovation Reception in the House of Commons, Parliament. Opened by APPWG co-chair Angela Smith MP, and with pertinent words from water resources minister Rory Stewart MP, we had a beaming crowd of enthusiasts – eager for better, more sustainable water management nationally, and who understood need for the innovation we’re trying to drive.

Watch our video from the night’s event, hear our interviewees and get a feel for the buzz that clearly exists round the water industry for this kind of innovation.

“[Water] affects all of us in our everyday lives… I think there’s never been a better time for this Challenge” – Miranda Kavanagh, Director of Evidence, Environment Agency

APPWG Water Innovation Reception attendees included an exciting cohort of representatives across all public, private and third sector – from water companies including our sponsors Southern Water and United Utilities; engineering consultancies like Arup and Mott MacDonald; local authorities and Rivers Trusts, to research such as the UK Water Partnership and Imperial College London; data stakeholders from Environment Agency to the innovative Creative Data Projects, and other unlikely but never more relevant stakeholders such as Britvic.

So why are we focussing on water for our 9th Geovation Challenge? The Geovation Challenge: why water?
Water is a vital resource for us all. We recognise water problems are experienced differently by us all – from too little or too much water, to poor water quality, ageing infrastructure and through our consumption behaviour. These are the five broad problem themes the Geovation Water Challenge has identified, researched grounded problems within, and is focussing to solve.

See the problem deep dive to find out more

Variances between all these problem areas can often be defined by geography: what occurs upstream affects downstream; where somewhere there is drought, elsewhere in the region can be flooding; where there is higher population in cities there is often greater water stress; differences in land use can determine water pollution – these are a few examples. Geovation’s principle is that geography underpins these crucial matters, and can be a fundamentally powerful tool in a solution to the problem! Geography and innovation… Geovation.

Whoever we are or identify ourselves as being in the water cycle – whether a householder or water utility manager, we are all fundamentally stakeholders of water. What the Geovation Challenge aims to do is enhance this agency we all have, by open innovation setting seed to disruption of conventional water practices that currently are not going to sustain our social, economic, environmental or even political lives into the future – particularly with the overshadowing threat of climate change, already realised to this day.

Geovation Challenges are for anyone – whether you are motivated to set up a data led business venture to solve real world challenges for social and environmental good, or want to share your expertise and insight by helping develop ideas, or enriching an understanding of a problem.

You can enter or view the ideas here

We encourage as much idea sharing, developing and cross-fertilisation as possible (open innovation!) and don’t be afraid to submit your own!

Also it’s not too late to sign up for one of our Geovation Challenge masterclasses focussing on using the data available as a key ingredient to solving problems relating to water – find out more