SWC Launches First Ever Innovation Challenge: Reinforce the Source

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The Source Water Collaborative is excited to announce the “Reinforce the Source” Innovation Challenge. Through this challenge, the SWC is tapping an online community of software developers, code writers, and designers to create a prototype for a user-friendly, online information library open to regulators and the public to share information on contaminants of concern to drinking water. This centralized, open information exchange will combine the resources of many to facilitate and inform quicker development of critical source water protections.

As a nation, we face pressing and persistent water quality and quantity challenges that threaten the safety and sustainability of our water supplies. Incidents such as the spill to Elk River, West Virginia highlight the importance of source water protection to public health and local economies. Despite the potential consequences, there are many known pollutants present in surface waters that serve as sources of drinking water but for which there are no formal protections provided under federal, state, or local laws. It is extremely resource intensive and technically daunting for government agencies to develop regulatory protections, such as water quality criteria or Maximum Contaminant Levels, in a timely manner when acting alone, leaving our drinking water sources exposed to potentially harmful contamination. Now is the time for change.

This spring 2016, solvers are challenged to submit user interface design, information flow and architecture, and coding solutions through a series of challenges held through the Top Coder innovation challenge competition platform. A panel of judges will rate submissions on ease-of-use, technical feasibility, user experience, and design. Winners will receive cash prizes and an opportunity to receive public recognition through the Source Water Collaborative.

Visit the Source Water Collaborative challenge page to review the challenge description, check out prizes, track challenge progress, and access the competition webpage on Top Coder’s challenge platform.

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