The Competition Guidelines summarize the high-level requirements and procedures of the competition. These guidelines are based upon extensive research and consultation with dozens of experts and researchers across a wide array of relevant fields. Public feedback, open from March 1 to June 1, 2024, provided further refinement. Revised guidelines will be posted here once feedback has been reviewed. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Competition Guidelines (PDF)


XPRIZE competitions are driven by teams of innovative groups and individuals, comprising subject matter experts, enthusiasts, start-ups, student teams, amateurs, and all problem-solvers in between. A winning idea can come from anyone, anywhere.


XPRIZE Water Scarcity is a multi-track competition that focuses on addressing the challenges and opportunities related to desalination and water access. It is structured into two complementing tracks designed to individually and collectively drive meaningful impact to access to water on a global scale.

$70M Track A - The New Desalination System

  • $20M Moonshot Awards
  • $9.5M Track B - Novel Membrane Materials


    In addressing global water scarcity, we focus on two strategic pathways:

        Track A - The New Desalination System - the winning team will reliably and most sustainably generate one million liters of potable water per day (1,000 m3/ day) from seawater at the lowest cost, below a target benchmark to ensure global accessibility, over the course of 1 year.

        Track B - Novel Membrane Materials - the winning team will most sustainably and cost-effectively treat seawater to potable water quality using reverse osmosis membranes, demonstrating an operational lifetime of 10 years or more.

    By concurrently implementing these advancements, we pave the way for a water-secure future that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable.