BD rolls out competition to find an ICT based solution to save water resources
Seven members of the Bangladesh Water Multi- Stakeholders Partnership (BW-MSP) including Unilever's Pureit, have launched a month-long unique challenge competition for the youth, titled 'Water Innovation Challenge Competition-2021 (WICC 2021)' on Tuesday, says a press release.
The WICC-2021 challenge competition is jointly organized by Unilever's Pureit, A2i (Aspire to Innovate), Dhaka WASA, Department of Environment (DoE), 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS).
The month-long competition aims to find an ICT based solution to help create behavioral change amongst citizens. It is anticipated to lead to a reduction in water usage and raise accountability amongst industries regarding the reuse and recycle of water. The result is expected to help the Government to make informed investment decisions for fresh water and recycled water infrastructure.
Ground water, which is a major source of fresh water, unfortunately is depleting fast with unabated and unregulated extraction for industry, agriculture, and household use. In Dhaka, 79 pc of the water supply comes from groundwater sources and the remaining 21% comes from surface water sources. It is estimated that over 80% of the wastewater generated by households and industries flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Meanwhile, according to a recent analysis undertaken by World Bank hosted 2030 Water Resources Group highlights that Bangladesh will have a deficit of water supply of up to 21% during the dry season by 2030.
Due to the growth of Textile and Leather sectors, it is anticipated that water demand could rise by 250% by 2030. Hence declining ground water level and deteriorating river water quality have reached at an alarming rate.
In its first commencement, the theme of the competition is "#WaterSecurity #Innovation #Challenge". The purpose of the hackathon style challenge competition is to find appropriate water usage monitoring tools and platforms using 'Household Water Footprint' and 'Industry Water Footprint', designed for citizens and industries to help them participate in water saving practices.
The competition has been commenced on virtual platform where Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) attended as the chief guest. The respected Heads from participating organizations- A2i, Unilever Pureit, DoE, DWASA, BCS, BASIS, and 2030 WRG were also present there.
Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) said, "On the occasion of World Water Day, I applaud the initiative taken by seven stakeholders coming forward to organize such outstanding competition to find feasible solution of water wastage for household consumption and to bring sustainable solution for reusing and recycling water for industries. This very day highlights the importance of fresh water for us all. Apart from recognizing the importance of water, I hope the younger generation can come forward with best solutions to ensure we can live in a sustainable water-secure world."
The challenge competition has several steps. Submissions start from 23rd February and will run till 15th March. To assist the interested innovators in coming up with feasible solutions. Additionally, to raise awareness on general topics of water conservation and water sector of the country, webinars will be held. Evaluation and screening will be done from 16th March till 21st March. A bootcamp will also be organized to mentor shortlist suitable solutions. Jury Panel will shortlist suitable solutions.