Bureau of Reclamation

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Water America's Crops Challenge

Help us improve the reliability of water delivery for America’s crops by advancing methods to reduce water seepage in canals.
stage:
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prize:
$360,000
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Overview

Challenge Overview

For more than 100 years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has brought water to arid lands to support agriculture and economic development. Today, Reclamation’s 8,000 miles of canals deliver water across the Western U.S., serving over 30 million customers and 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.

As water is conveyed by a canal from the source to customers, some water losses (such as from evaporation) are inevitable. However, a much more significant and preventable type of loss is seepage of water from a canal into the ground. Seepage represents the most significant cause of water loss in canals, reducing the efficiency of water deliveries and increasing costs for Reclamation and its customers. Moreover, if not adequately addressed, seepage can result in a canal failure over the long term.

The $360,000 Water America’s Crops Challenge seeks to incentivize new approaches to minimizing seepage in canals that are cost-effective for the farmers and communities that Reclamation serves. The challenge is designed to accelerate development of new solutions and validate performance on criteria that will be critical for field testing and future deployment.

The challenge will have two (2) phases over 24 months. In Phase 1, solvers will have six months after the challenge launch to submit technical proposals describing their solution, including expected performance on key criteria of effectiveness, durability, maintenance requirements, installation requirements, and cost. Up to five (5) finalists will be chosen to develop a prototype (lab-scale) version of their solution in Phase 2 for testing at Reclamation labs. Finalists will have nine (9) months to develop their prototypes, and each finalist will receive $50,000 to support solution development. Following laboratory testing in Phase 2, a judging panel will evaluate the results, and determine the winner(s). Up to one (1) first place winner will receive $90,000 and one (1) runner-up will receive $20,000. Winners are expected to be announced in January 2023.

Click the Guidelines tab to learn more about this challenge and help us Water America’s Crops!

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines were updated on March 29, 2021. See details here.

Background

For more than 100 years, Reclamation has brought water to arid lands for agricultural and economic development. Today, Reclamation operates 8,116 miles of canals that deliver water across six regions of the Western U.S. (see map), serving over 30 million customers and 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.

As water is conveyed by a canal from the source to customers, some water losses are inevitable. Evaporation of water into the air and transpiration (or absorption) of water into nearby plant life create very minimal water losses along canals. However, the most significant type of water loss in canals is seepage of water through the base or walls of a canal into the subsurface or subgrade. Seepage may be diffuse (through permeable soils), concentrated (through bedrock fractures), or some combination thereof. Rates of seepage can be affected by many factors, including:

  • Whether a canal is lined;
  • The material used for lining (e.g. concrete or plastic);
  • The composition of the subsurface or subgrade (e.g. fine-grained soil, coarse soil, or various types of bedrock);
  • The level of the groundwater table; and
  • Climatic conditions including temperature, humidity, and precipitation.

Seepage that is not adequately addressed can result in canal failure. In addition, efficient and effective use of water resources becomes even more critical as populations grow and communities face more extreme droughts, floods, and other climate impacts. 

Typically, customers and communities that receive water deliveries must pay project costs for operation and maintenance, and addressing repair and maintenance of aging infrastructure can be expensive. As a result, the cost-effectiveness of any solution to water seepage from canals is a key criteria for successful deployment across communities that Reclamation serves. 

Reclamation continues to evaluate and improve canal infrastructure by examining a variety of methods and technologies to address seepage. The key criteria necessary for a successful solution include: 

  • Effectiveness at reducing seepage
  • Durability over time and in various environmental conditions
  • Minimal maintenance requirements
  • Ease of installation in a variety of environmental conditions and locations
  • Cost-effectiveness (including both cost of materials and costs related to the other four performance criteria)

Based on Reclamation’s analysis and experience in the field, some existing approaches perform very well on certain criteria, but no existing approaches achieve excellent performance on all of the criteria. Table 1 below summarizes Reclamation’s findings regarding the performance of several existing methods for reducing water seepage from canals. 

In this challenge, Reclamation seeks solutions that improve upon the performance results described in Table 1. We seek to accelerate new ideas and approaches by leveraging Reclamation labs to validate key performance criteria and identify solutions that will be cost-effective for the farmers and communities. 

Help us harness the power of innovation to ensure reliable water delivery to farmers and rural communities for the next 100 years. Let’s Water America’s Crops!

 

Table 1: Summary of Typical Canal Lining Methods for Reducing Seepage

Method

Pros

Cons

Fluid-applied Membrane Lining
  • Potentially last longer than typical high density polyethylene (HDPE) membranes.
  • Potential easy installation and maintenance
  • Certain types can withstand heavy machinery
  • Failed in several tests during Reclamation research studies
  • Certain types can be susceptible to uplift
Concrete alone (Shotcrete) Lining
  • Excellent durability (40-60 yrs)
  • Easy maintenance for irrigation districts
  • Only 70% effectiveness
  • Medium cost (relative)
Exposed Geomembrane Lining
  • Excellent effectiveness (90%)
  • Low cost (relative)
  • Durability varies significantly with service conditions (5-40 years) and therefore is a less reliable solution
  • Susceptible to mechanical damage from animal traffic, construction equipment, and vandalism
  • Difficult for irrigation districts to maintain because of unfamiliarity with geomembrane materials, and the need for special equipment to perform repairs
Geomembrane with Concrete Cover Lining
  • Excellent effectiveness (95%)
  • Excellent durability (40-60 yrs)
  • Reliable performance regardless of service conditions.
  • Easy for irrigation districts to maintain the concrete cover; geomembrane underliner requires little/no maintenance.
  • High cost (relative)

 

Challenge Structure and Timeline

The Challenge will have two (2) phases over 24 months. In Phase 1, solvers will have six months after the challenge launch to submit technical proposals. Up to five (5) finalists will be chosen to move onto Phase 2. In Phase 2, finalists will have nine (9) months to develop a prototype and deliver it to Reclamation labs for testing. Following laboratory testing in Phase 2, a judging panel will evaluate the results and determine the winner(s). Winners are expected to be announced in January 2023. A showcase event is expected to be held following the end of Phase 2.

Challenge launch (February 4, 2021)

Phase 1 (January - September 2021 - 9 months) 

  • Phase 1 submissions due (June 24, 2021 - 21 weeks)
  • Phase 1 evaluations (June 24 - September 9, 2021 - 11 weeks)
  • Phase 1 winners announced (September 9, 2021)

Phase 2 (September 2021 - January 2023 - 15 months)

  • Phase 2 development period (September 9, 2021 - June 16, 2022 - 40 weeks)
  • Phase 2 submissions due (June 16, 2022)
  • Phase 2 evaluations (June 16, 2022 - January 12, 2023 - 30 weeks)
  • Phase 2 winners announced (January 2023)

Showcase event (February/March 2023)

Prizes and Incentives

A total of up to $360,000 available in prize purses, as described in the table below. Phase 1 prize money will be paid out in two installments. The first installment of $35,000 will be issued at the start of Phase 2. The remaining $15,000 will be issued upon successful completion of a mutually agreed-upon milestone at the Phase 2 mid-point (January 2022). 

Phase

Prize Purses

Total Purse

Phase 1

$50,000 x 5 finalists

$250,000

Phase 2

$90,000 1st place

$20,000 Runner-up

$110,000

In addition:

  • During Phase 2, each finalist will have access to 10 hours of time with a Bureau of Reclamation subject matter expert. Reclamation and HeroX will work with finalists to determine the most appropriate and helpful individual during solution development.
  • Following the end of Phase 2, each finalist will receive a data report including all laboratory tests conducted by Reclamation in Phase 2 and the performance results of their prototype for each test.
  • After the end of Phase 2, Reclamation intends to hold a showcase event where the finalists will have an opportunity to present to Reclamation customers and communities. Elements of the showcase event may be recorded and broadcast online and/or made available to irrigation districts and other Reclamation stakeholders after the event. The showcase event may be held in conjunction with Reclamation’s annual “Water Management Workshop,” in February/March 2023.
  • Over the long term, Reclamation is seeking partners to demonstrate and conduct field testing in communities that Reclamation serves.

Intellectual Property Rights

It is the Bureau of Reclamation’s preference that innovators commercialize their own technology and make it available to the Bureau of Reclamation through a commercial contract, or other terms. Nonetheless, the government also seeks a license to intellectual property contained within the winning submissions.   These licenses ensure the government has access to further develop the technologies if they are not further developed by the innovators themselves. 

Innovators who are awarded a prize for their submission must agree to grant the US Government a royalty-free license to use their submission. The terms of this license are available in the Challenge-Specific Agreement. 

 

How do I win?

To be eligible for an award, you must:

  • Submit all elements described in the Submission Form sections below by the applicable deadlines
  • Meet or exceed the Minimum Score in each Phase, as described below
  • Address all of the Judging Criteria described below
  • Rank higher than your competitors!

Phase 1 Submission Form

All elements of the Phase 1 submission must be completed and submitted by the deadline, June 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm EDT.

  1. Proposal title: Title for the technical proposal that may be displayed on the challenge website or in promotional materials
  2. Video Elevator Pitch: Brief and compelling video pitch to the judging panel describing the 1) technical approach; 2) how/why the approach is better than current technologies; 3) value to Reclamation and the customers/communities it serves. Max 1 minute in length.
    1. Please upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo and then copy the link into the submission form
  3. Describe the Effectiveness of the Solution: Narrative description of the effectiveness of the solution in reducing canal seepage, including % reduction in seepage compared to an unlined canal (max 3,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  4. Describe the Durability of the Solution: Narrative description of the durability of the solution, including: 1) performance in temperatures ranging from -40F to 140F; 2) resilience to erosion, abrasion, impact, and vibration; and 3) expected lifetime in years (max 5,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  5. Describe the Maintenance Requirements of the Solution: Narrative description and supporting documentation describing the maintenance required after the solution is installed, including: 1) annual maintenance required (if any); 2) all maintenance required over the expected lifetime of the solution; 3) any specialized expertise needed to conduct maintenance at any point over the lifetime of the solution (max 5,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  6. Describe How the Solution Would Be Installed in a Canal: Narrative description of how the solution would be installed in a canal, including: 1) installation in a canal with a) fine-grained soil; b) rocky subgrade; and c) a high groundwater table; 2) whether/how the solution can be installed while the canal is operating; 3) estimated duration of installation for 1 mile of canal; and 4) any potential environmental impacts inside the canal footprint during or after installation (max 5,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  7. Describe the Cost of Materials: Cost estimate for materials required to build/manufacture the solution per square foot of canal (max 3,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  8. Development Plan: PDF document addressing: 1) current TRL of the solution; 2) plan for developing the technology to sufficient maturity for testing in Phase 2; 3) assessment of technical and other risks and risk mitigation strategy; 4) description of any anticipated challenges with testing the prototype at Reclamation labs; 5) engagement plan describing how Reclamation can educate the communities it serves about the solution and help ensure its deployment in the future; 6) biographical information (education, professional experience, and any other relevant information) for each team member. (max 5 page PDF document)
  9. Phase 2 Mid-Point Milestone: Description of a proposed technical milestone for the Phase 2 mid-point (Jan 2022). The second installment of Phase 1 prize money will be issued at the Phase 2 mid-point upon successful completion of a mutually agreed-upon technical milestone. (max 2,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  10. Other Supporting Data and Documentation (Optional): Solvers may submit up to three (3) additional files (e.g. data, modeling, illustrations, or other documentation) to support the descriptions and claims of the technical proposal. This submission element is optional. Each file can be no larger than 20MB. Any document containing additional narrative may be no longer than five (5) pages.

Phase 1 Judging Criteria

In Phase 1, solvers will be judged on the submission elements described above. The judging panel will consider how well each submission element addresses the goals of the challenge (as described in the Background section of these guidelines), as well as the completeness and credibility of each element. Solvers will receive up to a maximum score for each element, as described below. In order to be eligible for a prize purse, solvers must meet or exceed a Minimum Score of 60 points.

Element 

Maximum Points 

(100 total)

Elevator Pitch

5

Effectiveness of the Solution

20

Durability of the Solution

20

Maintenance Requirements of the Solution

20

How the Solution Would Be Installed in a Canal

10

Cost of Materials

10

Development Plan

15

 

Phase 2 Submission Form

All elements of the Phase 2 submission described in the table below must be completed and submitted by the deadline, June 16, 2022 at 5:00 pm EDT. In addition, solvers must ship their prototype to the Bureau of Reclamation laboratory facility c/o Evan Lindenbach, Building 56, Room 1410, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225 by the submission deadline, June 16, 2022 at 5:00 pm EDT. Additional information and requirements regarding delivery of the prototype will be provided on the challenge website after the opening of Phase 2.

  1. Updated Proposal Title: Title for the prototype solution that may be displayed on the challenge website or in promotional materials
  2. Video Elevator Pitch: Brief and compelling video pitch to Reclamation customers and communities describing why customers should adopt the solution and how it will address their needs and budget. Max 1 minute in length.
    1. Please upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo and then copy the link into the submission form
  3. Installation Demonstration Video: Video demonstrating at a lab/bench scale how the solution would be installed 1) in a canal with a) fine-grained soil; b) rocky subgrade; and c) a high groundwater table; 2) whether/how the solution can be installed while the canal is operating; 3) estimated duration of installation for 1 mile of canal 4) any potential environmental impacts inside the canal footprint during or after installation. Max 7 minutes in length.
    1. Please upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo and then copy the link into the submission form
  4. Updated Maintenance Requirements: Narrative addressing the maintenance required after the solution is installed, including: 1) annual maintenance required (if any); 2) all maintenance required over the expected lifetime of the solution; 3) any specialized expertise needed to conduct maintenance at any point over the lifetime of the solution (max 5,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  5. Updated Cost of Materials: Updated cost estimate for materials required to build/manufacture the solution for 1) 100 feet of canal; 2) 1 mile of canal; and 3) 100 miles of canal. (max 3,000 characters, embedded images and figures allowed)
  6. Commercialization Plan (PDF upload): Narrative addressing: 1) projected development plan, timeline, and budget for readying the solution for field testing following the end of the challenge; 2) proposed business plan for commercializing the solution if field testing is successful; 3) assessment of technical risks, business risks, and/or regulatory risks associated with commercialization; 4) marketing plan for engaging with irrigation districts and other potential customers, including a well-articulated value proposition; 5) biographical information (education, professional experience, and any other relevant information) for each team member. (max 5 page PDF document)
  7. Other Supporting Data and Documentation (Optional): Solvers may submit up to three (3) additional files (e.g. data, modeling, illustrations, or other documentation) to support the descriptions and claims of the technical proposal. This submission element is optional. Each file can be no larger than 20MB. Any document containing additional narrative may be no longer than five (5) pages.

 

Phase 2 Judging Criteria

In Phase 2, solvers will be judged on: 1) the submission elements described above; and 2) the performance of their prototype on the laboratory tests described below. For the submission elements described above, the judging panel will consider how well each submission element addresses the goals of the challenge (as described in the Background section of these guidelines), as well as the completeness and credibility of each element. For the laboratory tests, Reclamation will develop and post to the challenge website more specific testing protocols (including how data will be evaluated) at the beginning of Phase 2. Solvers will receive up to a maximum score for each element, as described below. In order to be eligible for a prize purse, solvers must meet or exceed a Minimum Score of 50 points.

Element 

Description of Laboratory Tests 

(if applicable)

Maximum Points 

(100 total)

Elevator PitchN/A 5
Effectiveness of the Solution

Following the Durability tests (see below), a static water column test will be used to evaluate the water retention characteristics of the prototypes.

 

20
Durability of the SolutionLaboratory scale accelerated weathering and/or durability tests at Reclamation labs, which may include 1) freeze-thaw; 2) UV radiation; 3) erosion/abrasion; 4) impact/mechanical damage; 5) high pressure jet; 7) time-dependent deformation; 8) deterioration; 9) internal/interface shear resistance; and 10) vibration test for packing performance or an earthquake event. 20
Maintenance Requirements of the SolutionN/A20
Installation Demonstration VideoN/A10
Cost of MaterialsN/A10

Commercializa-

tion Plan

N/A15

Rules

Participation Eligibility:

The Water America’s Crops Challenge is open to individuals, age 18 or older. 

Submissions must originate from either the U.S. or a designated country (see definition of designated country at https://www.acquisition.gov/far/part-25#FAR_25_003), OR have been substantially transformed in the US or designated country prior to prototype delivery pursuant to FAR 25.403(c). 

In addition, United States federal sanctions prohibit participation from individuals and teams from certain countries (see: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx).

The following restrictions apply to the Challenge: (1) Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment are not eligible to participate; (2) Federal employees acting outside the scope of their employment should consult their ethics advisor before participating in the Challenge; (3) All employees of the Government, Challenge sponsors, and other individual or entity associated with the development or administration of the Challenge, as well as their family members (i.e., spouse, children, parents, siblings, other dependents) and persons living in the same household whether or not related, are not eligible to participate; (4) Contractors receiving Government funding for the same or similar projects, along with their employees, are not eligible to participate in the Challenge.

No Federal facilities or funds were used and innovator did not consult with Federal employees during the competition unless the facilities, funds and/or employees were made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis

Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, which will be made available upon registration.

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, on or before the submission deadline. All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.

Multiple submissions are permitted for Phase 1. Only one Phase 2 submission is permitted per eligible team.

Submissions will become the sponsor's property upon submission and will not be returned with the exception of Phase 2 prototypes if requested prior to prototype shipment. Reclamation may cover reasonable shipping expenses to return prototypes to innovators, if requested.

Shipping Costs:

Reclamation will cover reasonable shipping costs for Phase 2 winners to ship prototypes to Reclamation facilities. The solver may be responsible for additional fees incurred for customs clearance. 

Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.
Timeline
Updates 6

Challenge Updates

Register Now: Challenge Webinar

May 14, 2021, 2:24 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Join the Bureau of Reclamation team for a live webinar where you will have an opportunity to ask your questions LIVE! You won't want to miss this opportunity to get the inside scoop on the Water America's Crops Challenge!

Time: May 20, 2021, 11:00 AM Pacific Time (Los Angeles)

Make sure you sign up early to reserve your spot!


How Do You Keep over 8,000 Miles Of Canals Flowing?

April 22, 2021, 9 a.m. PDT by Despina Maliaka

Article by George Shewchuk

Irrigation by feraugustodesign from Pixabay

In a land as vast as the United States with its diverse environmental regions and a massive agriculture industry, how do we redistribute our precious water resources? 

The Romans figured it out. In 312 B.C. they engineered a system of aqueducts to move water from remote sources to those areas of their land that was less bestowed by the gifts of nature.

Fast forward to 1902. This marks the beginning of a contemporary water management entity and the Bureau of Reclamation. Their mission today, as it was then, is to address the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and public investment in our structures.

Through the sheer power of human endeavour, what was once arid and unfarmable land has been nourished and made productive by devising ways to move water from those regions with plenty to those with less, this time by using a massive network of canal systems.

Seepage, water lost to the subsurface, is the greatest threat to water delivery by canal.

Lost in Transmission.

Although the Bureau of Reclamation has engineered and maintained a vast network of irrigation canals for over 100 years and despite the advances made in hydrology and materials science, these canal systems are still an imperfect conduit for water transmission. As a key mandate for the Bureau of Reclamation, to deliver reliable water and power resources to the Western States, maintaining the performance of these delivery systems is a high priority task that requires a concerted ongoing effort.

Water is a slippery commodity to share. The forces of nature put continuous pressure on canal structures, degrading their capacity to move water. Over time, water is lost by surface evaporation and by the absorption of plant life. However, this sort of water loss is minimal compared to the volume of water that is drained out of the canal through seepage - water loss through the base or walls of a canal. Seepage can seriously reduce the volume of water flow intended for its destination.  

A close - up of some plants

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Dry cornfield  by Couleur Lush cornfield by analogicus (Pixabay)

When it rains, it pours.

And then again, sometimes it doesn’t rain at all. This is the hallmark of climate change: unpredictable and extreme weather events. Droughts, floods and wildfires will become more commonplace in the near future, putting more pressure on the agricultural industry to feed the nation and maximise the yield of greenhouse and field production.

The challenge is fluid (pun intended!) and the threats to a well-managed canal system are never ending. As our population grows the demands on the agricultural industry grows and the process of water delivery requires constant attention. 

Not only do we need to mitigate the effects of seepage to ensure that our precious water resources are not wasted, we need to prepare this infrastructure in time to withstand the severe weather events promised for the future that will further impact the delivery of water to our customers.

The challenge is daunting but not insurmountable. 

The crux of this challenge lies at the intersection of material science, installation techniques, maintenance demands, and economic value.  The best solution will be a balanced approach that addresses all of these requirements.

In a field of highly competitive solvers, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Go to the “edge” of the usual solution spaces and look for analogous concepts in other industry sectors, then consider how they may apply to this challenge. Novelty alone won’t bring success but in your exploration of ideas it’s always helpful to expand the range of your thinking in order to find a new way of solving an old problem.  

Solvers with the best solutions will have an opportunity to take their ideas to Reclamation Labs and collaborate with their team to validate and scale their solutions. This is where your ideas get put to the test.

How an ideal solution will ensure the optimal operation of a canal system:

  • Minimizes water lost through seepage
  • Innovates on material science to produce durable infrastructure
  • Ensures that installation is simple, and maintenance is minimal 
  • Cost-effective 

Going with the flow.

Or even going against it! Innovation is about thinking in different ways or considering the usual suspects of a problem but with a different perspective. Crowdsourcing this challenge gives us the opportunity to reach out across the globe to tap the talents of diverse groups of potential solvers. Now is the time to put your problem-solving skills to work to find new ways to alleviate water seepage. 

Jump in!  Help us solve a critically important problem by sharing your ideas with HeroX and through generative collaboration with Reclamation bring them into the real world.


Updates to Water America's Crops Challenge

March 29, 2021, 4:09 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Legal Agreement: We have updated the legal agreement for the Water America's Crops Challenge. You will be prompted to reaccept this agreement next time you return to the challenge page.

What's changed? We have added a clause regarding federal funding, federal facilities, and consulting with federal employees. 

no Federal facilities or funds were used and innovator did not consult with Federal employees during the competition unless the facilities, funds and/or employees were made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis

Please see the legal agreement for full details.

Cost Calculation: We have simplified the requirement for calculating the cost of materials based on feedback from competitors. We are now asking for a cost estimate for materials required to build/manufacture the solution per square foot of canal. 

Why the change? The initial request was for a cost estimate per length of the canal. Since the width and depth of canals is not standard, we've simplified the request to cost per square foot only.  


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

March 23, 2021, 6 a.m. PDT by Lulu

Have you thought about forming a team to compete in the Water America's Crops Challenge?

Teams can be formed directly on the challenge page by connecting in the forum.

Some of the advantages of forming a team include:

1. Accountability

Those deadlines are less likely to get away from you when you’re working with a group.

2. Shared workload

You know the old “divide and conquer?”  It works well for challenges! By finding a solid collaborative stride, a group of just three people can churn out a lot more than one person working alone.

3. Camaraderie

It might be hard for other people to relate to your lone wolf journey toward incentive competition conquest, but your team will be right there with you! A source of inspiration, motivation, and perhaps even fire-under-your-butt lighting, teammates can provide a huge emotional advantage. Just think - new internet friends!

4. Specialization

Maybe you’re a real visionary with an incredible concept, but are stuck on how the “nuts and bolts” fit together? Yeah, YOU need a team. Teammates who have the skills and special working knowledge can be a huge resource. And the benefits go both ways!

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your team will take some time to come together, so be sure to get ahead of it and start recruiting, reaching out, and networking about the challenge now. The forum is a great place to start. Also, feel free to browse the entire HeroX Community by specialization by checking out https://herox.com/crowdsourcing-community. 


All About the Forum

March 9, 2021, 5 a.m. PST by Lulu

Maybe you've had some questions, thoughts, or ideas about the challenge so far -- but you're still wondering where to take them? In fact, there's a quick, easy-to-use way to ask questions and start conversations about the Water America's Crops Challenge: the challenge forum.  

Interested? Simply go to the forum to see what people are already saying. If you'd like to start a new conversation, click "New topic" (pictured below) and begin crafting your message. 

This is a great way to start connecting with other community members around different aspects of the challenge, gain insights, and even collaborate! Keep in mind that HeroX regularly checks in on the forum, so it's also a great way to get in touch with us about any questions (or suggestions) you might have. 

Hope you found this helpful! 


Forum 8

Challenge Forum

forum sections
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forum sections

Challenge Guidelines Clarifications
Post any requested clarifications to the challenge guidelines here.
7 Threads
20 Posts

Challenge Eligibility, Feedback or Website Issues
Post any questions regarding the registration requirements, eligibility, or potential website issues here.
1 Thread
2 Posts

Brainstorming Solutions
If you are brainstorming solutions or would like to get feedback from other challenge contestants, post it here!

I Have an AWESOME IDEA (but its not related to the challenge)
Have a great idea, but it's not in line with the challenge guidelines? Post those ideas here.
Teams 277
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