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  • Pima County wins Water Innovation Challenge; gets over $300K prize

    Nov 04, 2016 | Read More News
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    Southwest Water Campus teamPima County’s Southwest Water Campus team won the $250,000 New Arizona Prize: Water Innovation Challenge prize to fulfill its proposal, which involves brewing beer using reclaimed water. A selection committee in Phoenix announced the winning team Nov. 3. 

    In addition to the $250,000 grand prize, Pima County's team will benefit from up to $50,000 in technical assistance from the WaterNow Alliance to advance the development and implementation of its project. The team also won the Audience Choice award valued at $2,500. Pima County received a total prize of $302,500. 

    “I am thrilled and honored that our team has been able to come together with this innovative idea to help change public perception and tackle Arizona's future water needs,” said Jeff Prevatt, team lead for the Southwest Water Campus entry.  

    The Southwest Water Campus entry is comprised of members from Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD), Tucson Water, Town of Marana, University of Arizona, Carollo Engineers, CH2M, Clean Water Services and Water Reuse

    The team’s proposal involves using reclaimed water to brew beer. They would create a mobile potable reuse treatment facility to travel through various Arizona cities and towns. The water treatment facilities for each jurisdiction would then partner with local breweries to see who can create the best tasting beer using reclaimed water. Watch the team's Water Innovation Challenge video to learn more about its proposal.

    In 2014, the Arizona Community Foundation partnered with Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy to host philanthropic prize competitions to attract innovative ideas. The Water Innovation Challenge is the second competition of its kind. This challenge recognized Pima County’s Southwest Water Campus team for developing the most innovative and inventive market-based, technological or entrepreneurial solution to advance the sustainability of its water future. 

    The foundation received 23 entries for the competition. The City of Phoenix, Arizona State University Foundation for a New American University, Friends of Verde River Greenway and Freshwater Systems LLC were among the competition’s five finalists. They each received a $5,000 prize to carry on their proposals.

    To learn more about the Water Innovation Challenge and read more about each of the entries, visit the Arizona Community Foundation's website.

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