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Desalination

THE VISIONEERS 2016 SUMMIT HAS CONCLUDED. WE APPLAUD ALL OF THE 2016 VISIONEERS TEAMS FOR PRESENTING VIABLE, POTENTIAL XPRIZE CONCEPTS.

Bringing fresh water abundance to communities around the globe

Water is our most fundamental resource. It is also essential for everything from our most basic physical need for drinking water, to growing the food that we eat, to building the most cutting-edge technologies.

In one sense, water is already abundant. It covers 70 percent of the planet. But, fresh water that we can actually use? It’s less than one percent of all water sources combined. The problem is that while fresh water supplies are limited, our water demand is growing exponentially. To feed the world’s population in 2025, agriculture will require fresh water equal to 100 Colorado Rivers. By 2050, there will be a 400 percent rise in manufacturing water demand.

The grand challenge for water is to find ways to harness our water resources in ways that can sustain human development, economic growth, and the health and biodiversity of the planet.

“Water scarcity is everyone’s problem. By 2025, two out of every three people will face water stress. What if desalination could be transformed from an option of last resort to a cost-effective, sustainable, global solution?”

- TEAM DESALINATION

Landscape

Desalination—the process of converting seawater or unusable brackish water into fresh water—can be a transformational solution for addressing water scarcity. Today, there are already more than 18,000 desalination plants operating around the world. However, desalination is often the option of last resort for two reasons: cost and environmental impact.

Today, researchers are working on next generation technologies that could revolutionize the future of desalination. New business models are emerging that pair desalination plants with zero-emission renewable energy. Smaller, distributed systems have the potential to ease deployment. A Desalination XPRIZE has the potential to reimagine what desalination looks like today and incentivize exponentially better models for addressing water scarcity in the future.

More on Desalination

Prize Sponsor

NRF Singapore sets the national direction for policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise. The NRF aims to transform Singapore into a vibrant R&D hub that contributes towards a knowledge-intensive, innovative and entrepreneurial economy; and make Singapore a magnet for excellence in science and innovation.

Singapore has no natural resources and limited land for water catchment or water reclamation facilities. The new innovations generated from the Water Desalination XPRIZE will contribute to Singapore’s efforts to grow into a global hydro-hub of innovation.

Sarah Weingust

Sarah Weingust
Prize Developer

Sarah Weingust is Founder and CEO of HostelPass, creating opportunities for students and other travelers to broaden their understanding of our world. Sarah graduated in 2016 as Entrepreneur of the Year at the University of Southern California, with HostelPass, one of the top winners in its New Venture Seed Competition. A practiced psychological researcher, dedicated to environmental causes and the power of human innovation to create paradigm-shifting change, Sarah is pleased to be working to help transform water scarcity into water abundance.

BA, Psychology, University of Southern California, Minor in Entrepreneurship

Nikki Batchelor
SPOCK

Vivian Ho
XPRIZE Fellow

Emmiline Ang Xiao Wei
Sponsor Resource