EauMega Innovation Challenge

Online event from
January 11-14, 2022

Join the EauMega Youth Steering Committee, UNESCO in partnership with Xylem, a leading global water technology company,  to tackle our world’s most pressing water conservation  and sustainability challenges!

The EauMega Innovation Challenge

Water impacts our everyday life and is key to our survival, from meeting our personal needs to influencing the global economy and the well-being of our planet. Factors like climate change, demographic transition, and urbanization are changing the face of our world,  threatening global water supplies and water security. In this age of information overhaul, a large range of data is produced and collected concerning different water-related aspects, such as distribution, quality and affordability.

The availability of this data and their actualization is critical to the resilience of our water supplies around the world, especially in Megacities, where the relationship between water supply and water demand is increasingly raising concerns due to progressively urbanized soils and population density.

So far, water utilities have been stuck trying to balance priorities of time and resources. Now, in an effort to reduce operational costs and improve asset lifespans, water utilities are putting their data to work. But while smart water offers untold solutions, utilities are still working to understand how to gather, manage, analyze and share this information in such a way that it can alleviate ongoing water management challenges.

Through the EauMega Innovation Challenge, we are asking you to be part of the solution and bring in your best ideas!
During this 68 hours event, you will develop a project on a water-related data management challenge in teams of up to 5 students, with a prize available for the winning team. Throughout the process, you will be able to engage with mentors and participate in water masterclasses with industry-leading experts.

Challenge statements

Challenge #1: How good is your water
Making sustainable water management decisions in increasingly growing urban areas requires an improved understanding of water quality and availability over time.

Nowadays, municipalities have access to a lot of data to monitor, predict and control clean water management systems in urban areas, including flow, pressure, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH level, conductivity, ORP (oxidation-reduction potential), turbidity and presence of contaminants. But what is the real use of this data? Do we know? How could it be used to raise awareness and preserve the health and well-being of the end-user?
Distribution systems can lose pressure for various reasons that include water main breaks, equipment failures, losses of power, etc. Loss of pressure in a drinking water distribution system may cause a net movement of water from outside the pipe to the inside through cracks, breaks, or joints in the distribution system. Such system failures carry a high potential for contamination or other disease-causing organisms or micropollutants to enter a distribution system and can cause serious health concerns for people who drink the contaminated water.

Your challenge is to create a rewarding program that recognizes utilities meeting their sustainable clean water quality and availability targets through a continuous testing system.

Challenge #2: The bill of your dreams
The true value of water

Most of the water consumers across the globe don’t understand their bills.
Recent surveys suggest that the majority of billpayers believe that their supplier uses confusing terminology in their communication with customers, who struggle to understand their jargon and find their bill difficult to read.
A direct consequence of that is the lack of understanding of the value of water, such as the long value chain behind producing 1 liter of drinking water, for example.
What information would you like to see in your bill and how will you use that information to build a rewarding scheme that will save you money.

Your challenge is to
1. Propose a sample of the bill of your dreams with all information you want to see to have a clear and transparent understanding of your water usage, for utilities to adopt.
2. Propose a dashboard that showcases water consumption metrics from which utilities can score and reward your sustainability index (water saving in liters per month).

Challenge #3 : How Urban development can impact the dynamics of water supply and water demand

Water demand and supply can change drastically due to conditions that include climate change, growing population, economic growth, and urbanization.
Rapid urbanization can change the behavior of land in use and its river basins through changing their topology, geology, and hydrology, with some significant consequences on water access.
Urban development can directly impact municipal water demand and cause a significant imbalance between water supply and water demand.

Your challenge will be to produce a research-based concept that can turn into a whitepaper, guiding municipalities to identify the intensity, duration, and frequency of possible water shortage events imposed by the growing urban developments and suggest solutions to minimize impact, raising public awareness on water scarcity.
You can even identify a city, model some near-term drastic events due to urban developments that may impact water access, and suggest a solution to raise public awareness on future water challenges.

Target attendees

The EauMega Innovation Challenge is open to students, professionals, or any individual that is interested in solving water management issues. 

Participants must be at least 15 years of age and no older than 35 years of age at the time of registration to participate*.

See Official Rules for full details of eligibility.

If a participant is under 18 years of age, a Legal Guardian Permission must be submitted. Failure to do so will end in disqualification of participation at the EauMega Innovation Challenge 2021.

Judging criteria

  1. Technology and innovation (20 points)
    -Using of smart techniques (5 points);
    -Using complex components (5 points);
    -Used technology made “wow” effect (10 points)
  2. Community impact (20 points)
    -Team made a research and analysis, and the solution take into account specific community features (10 points);
    -Team made a research and analysis, and the solution take into account specific regional features (10 points).
  3. Budget (20 points)
    -Include ideas for potential investments (10 points);
    -Include ideas/calculations for recycling (if applicable) (10 points).
  4. Presentation (15 points)
    -Fullness of the presented solution (5 points);
    -Clearness of the presents solution (5 points);
    -Presentation of the solution did not exceed the requested time from the criteria (maximum 5 mins) (5 points).
  5. Realistic Capability (5 points)
    The execution of the proposed solution proves to be viable when considering the user experience and the procedure to implement it

Total – 80 points.


  • Incubation of the winning project by Xylem
  • Winning certificate signed by UNESCO, Xylem and the EauMega Youth Steering Committee
  • Appearance in all social networks from the organizers


  • Tuesday January 11
    • Opening Ceremony from — 15h00 – 15h30 CEST
    • Start of the Solving — 15h00 CEST
  • Wednesday January 12
    • Xylem’s Master Class — 8h30 – 10h00 CEST
    • Solving and Mentoring during the rest of the day
  • Thursday January 13
    • Submission of projects maximum at 17h00 CEST
    • Jury evaluation — 17h00 CEST
  • Friday January 14
    • Jury evaluation closing at 10h00 CEST
    • Closing ceremony and winner announcement —10h00 CEST

Registration and Teams

Teams will be formed up to 5 members which will be selected aleatory according to the challenge that was chosen during the registration. An online room will be assigned for you to work during the event on the online platform of the EauMega Conference. Be prepared to exchange with people around the world and be open to having a rich and innovative experience!

Closing date of registration 5 January 2022

Winning teams

1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place

About the Organizers

The EauMega Youth Steering Committee works towards the two goals of the EauMega Conference 2022 and UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth (2014-2021) to create youth engagement concerning the topics Megacities, Water and Global Change.
The EauMega Youth Steering Committee is composed of different members that are youth representatives and that come from different regions recognized by UNESCO. It consists of a group of 14 members with diverse backgrounds in the professional and academic sphere concerning water management. All members work on a voluntary basis and they are located all around the world. Its principal objective is to create a space of exchange and dialogue for young people (15-35 years old) through different ways of expression in order to discuss the different issues related to water and climate change in megacities.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the arts, the sciences, and culture. UNESCO’s founding mission is to advance peace, sustainable development, and human rights by facilitating collaboration and dialogue among nations. It pursues this objective through five major program areas: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture, and communication/information. 

Key Sponsor

Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation. With more than 16,000 diverse employees, Xylem is creating a more sustainable world by enabling customers to optimize water and resource management, and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water-secure. Please visit www.xylem.com and join Xylem Ignite , Xylem’s global youth program, aiming building a strong network of passionate student leaders and empowering them to drive real changes in the water industry.

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