Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is encouraging innovators in the US and internationally to take on the “Water Abundance Challenge” during a visit to XPRIZE Headquarters in Los Angeles, where she met with Robert Weiss, President and Vice Chair.

The Australian Government is partnering with XPRIZE and India’s Tata Group to run the ‘Water Abundance Prize’ - an open challenge to use technology to improve affordable access to clean water in high humidity areas where water is currently unavailable or inaccessible.

The prize - $2 (USD1.5) million - will be awarded to the creator of the most innovative and effective device which uses energy-efficient technology to harvest water from air, producing a minimum of 2,000 litres of water per day from the atmosphere, using 100 per cent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per litre.

Five prizes worth $67,000 (AUS) will be awarded to the other finalists.

Only one percent of the earth’s water resources can be used for human consumption. This ground and surface water is unevenly distributed, which can lead to the spread of disease, conflict over resources, irregular migration and slowed economic development. Water scarcity is a particularly acute problem in our Indo-Pacific region.

The Prize is open to innovators from Australia and around the world. Scientists, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers with new ideas are invited to register to compete. Teams have until 31 March 2017 to register, seven months for initial solution development and twelve months to complete rounds of testing before judging by an expert panel.

XPRIZE is a non-profit organisation specialising in encouraging technological advances to meet global development needs.

Applicants can find further details and register on the following website www.water.xprize.org



Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555