Ofwat offers £4m for innovative water solutions


A competition to help solve the challenges facing the water sector is now open for entries, with £4m up for grabs to innovators in the farming and agricultural sectors.

The Water Discovery Challenge is the latest from Ofwat’s £200m Innovation Fund, which is seeking new ideas and projects to tackle issues facing the water industries – such as managing leaks and pollution, reducing emissions, unearthing sustainable practices, and boosting flood and drought resilience.

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Ofwat is the water regulator for England and Wales, and believes that the agricultural industry could be fundamental in providing new ideas.

Ofwat CEO David Black said: “It’s no secret that the water sector has faced challenges in the last year. As a regulator we’re constantly pushing the sector to overcome these.

“This is about preparing the water sector for the future, and I look forward to the ideas that come out of it.” 

The funding allocation will be split into phases, with an initial 20 teams of innovators set to receive up to £50,000 to develop their ideas with the help of mentors from water companies.

Of these, up to 10 will progress to the next stage, turning their ideas into pilots. At this point they will receive funding of up to £450,000.

Previous winners

Previous winners of the Ofwat Innovation Fund have included The Organics Ammonia Recovery project, which recovers ammonia from waste water and turns it into green hydrogen fuel – which is a first for the industry – and the Diffusing the Nitrate Timebomb project, which looks at methods to prevent nitrates from seeping into drinking water.

Entries for the Water Discovery Challenge are now open, and will close on the 5th April 2023.

You can find out more information on the Ofwat website,


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