After more than two years of testing their technologies in laboratories and in the Lake Simcoe watershed, the four finalists in the George Barley Water Prize – a $10 million incentive award to find a new technology capable of removing phosphorus from water supplies – were announced on October 24, in Toronto, Ontario.
For a 90-day stretch (February – May 2018), nine teams of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs – narrowed down from an original field of 104 international competitors –tested their technologies under cold weather conditions on the Holland Marsh, an agricultural and wetland area 50 km north of Toronto.
The finalist teams are: The University of Idaho’s Clean Water Machine; Wetsus NAFRAD, based in the Netherlands; Green Water Solution, Inc., based in Wellington, Florida; and the United States Geological Survey at Leetown Science Center. Each team was rewarded $125,000 and will advance to the “Grand Challenge”, the final phase of the competition at Lake Jesup, near Orlando, Florida.
“At Lake Jesup, the four finalists will engage in 14 months of intensive field testing under moderate and warm weather conditions,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, which hosts the competition. “These final four teams will need to prove their technologies’ ability to work in both freezing and warm temperatures. This will be their opportunity to showcase the global applicability of their solutions.”