Challenge Aims To Reduce The Cost And Labor of Aquatic Vegetation Management in Canals While Minimizing Undesirable Impacts To Water Quality and Downstream Users; Top Ideas To Share $345k Prize Purse
HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, today launched the crowdsourcing competition "Veg Out Challenge" on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation with support from the NASA Tournament Lab.
Challenge Aims To Reduce The Cost And Labor of Aquatic Vegetation Management in Canals While Minimizing Undesirable Impacts To Water Quality and Downstream Users; Top Ideas To Share $345k Prize Purse (PRNewsfoto/HeroX)
In the western United States, canals are the primary method for transporting water over long distances. If left unchecked, aquatic vegetation in these canals can obstruct canal flow, lowering canal capacities, increasing operating elevations and embankment pressure, and impacting water quality. Managing aquatic plants in canals requires continual maintenance, and the suite of solutions presently available can be expensive, dangerous, or damaging to the canals.
In light of this, the Veg Out Challenge seeks to identify, develop, and test novel, sustainable, and scalable solutions that can be used across a range of canal types to manage aquatic vegetation. Winning ideas will share in a total prize purse of $345,000.
Existing methods for managing vegetation (primarily mechanical and chemical) have various drawbacks. Mechanical methods are costly, labor intensive, can disrupt embankments, and create debris and sedimentation issues. Chemical options are limited for aquatic environments and while less labor intensive than mechanical methods they can also be costly, present safety risks and undesirable downstream effects.
"Aquatic vegetation can obstruct water flow, degrade water quality, and limit access for canal inspection and maintenance." said Scott O'Meara, Botanist, Bureau of Reclamation. "Successful solutions to this prize competition have the potential to be implemented in canals to improve water delivery and reduce operational costs."
For more than 100 years, the 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 United States, serving over 30 million customers and the 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.
"What the Bureau does is critical for our country's agriculture and food supply, and finding innovative ways to manage vegetation in canals is exactly what the HeroX crowd is great for," said Kal K. Sahota, CEO, HeroX. "We are excited to see what solutions come from this challenge!"
The Challenge: Reclamation is using this crowdsourcing competition to discover innovative rooted (attached) vegetation management devices and methods for irrigation canals. Over the coming weeks, Reclamation is requesting concepts to be submitted that can be prototyped and ultimately tested.
The Prize: A total prize purse of $345,000 will be distributed across the three phases of concept, prototyping, and demonstration
Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).
To accept the challenge, visit herox.com/VegOut
HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.
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