Water works for innovation: awards for South East Water

South East Water
Picture: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

SOUTH East Water has been applauded for its innovation, and could now receive a £250,000 prize.

The water provider has been named as one of the 11 winners in Ofwat’s recent Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC).

Organised by Ofwat and Nesta Challenges, the IWC funds transformational projects in the water sector, with grants of up to £250,000 for each winner.

This year, South East Water was rewarded for its supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances scheme,  run in partnership with the Consumer Council for Water, Thames Water, and Severn Trent Water.

The project will use behavioural science to support vulnerable residents, improve engagement, and help people manage their bills.

John Russell, senior director at Ofwat, said: “Innovation has the potential to drive a sea-change in
the water sector and tackle some of the biggest challenges we are facing in society.

“We were particularly pleased to see so many water company collaborations among the entries
[this year].

“We are looking forward to the future rounds of the competitions and supporting even more transformative projects to fruition over the coming years.”

Rachel Skinner, chair of the IWC judging panel, added: “It was refreshing to see such a high standard of entries across the breadth of the water sector in this inaugural funding round.

“Taken together, the shortlisted entries provided a clear snapshot of the industry and its current challenges but also multiple opportunities for widespread transformation.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing the funded projects take flight.”

Other winning projects included turning ammonia in wastewater into green energy and using artificial intelligence to detect leaks in the water network.

To find out more about the IWC, visit: waterinnovation.challenges.org

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