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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Detecting Leaks and Flaws in Water Pipelines - Stage 1

Can you help us detect leaks and flaws in water pipelines?

Department of the Interior - Bureau of Reclamation

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $75,000
Type of Challenge: Scientific
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: San Diego County Water Authority, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Isle Utilities
Submission Start: 03/08/2018 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 05/07/2018 12:00 AM ET


This launches Stage 1 of a planned two-stage competition, that culminates in a Grand Prize Challenge including lab or field prototype scale demonstrations. Reclamation’s water conveyance system includes over 20,000 miles of buried pipelines made of various materials including metal, plastic, concrete, and composite.

Municipal water utility collaborators also have extensive transmission and distribution pipeline networks. Pipeline components, such as joints, fittings, valves, and individual pipe sections, are subject to leakage due to damage, corrosion, and other types of degradation. Detecting water loss from pipelines will trigger appropriate maintenance, allowing conservation of scarce water resources and more reliable service to clients.

Reclamation and our collaborators are seeking methods and technologies that can reliably and easily detect leaks and flaws in operating, pressurized water pipeline infrastructure regardless of size, depth of burial, pipe material or interior lining. Our primary focus is finding condition assessment solutions for 48-inch or greater pipe diameters and for steel and prestressed concrete cylinder pipe types, although solutions for all pipe types and diameters greater than 24 inches will be considered.

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Stage 1 is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. Reclamation has a total cash prize purse budget of $75,000 for Stage 1, as stated in the Challenge-Specific Solver Agreement.  The minimum full award amount is $15,000. Reclamation can allocate higher individual award amounts up to the prize purse of $75,000, as it deems appropriate. The Challenge award will be contingent upon results of critical analysis and evaluation by Reclamation and the judging panel appointed by Reclamation.  A total of up to five awards can be made for the highest ranked submissions meeting or exceeding the requirements (“Solution Requirements”) described in the Challenge details.  However, the meeting of the Solution Requirements does not guarantee that the proposed solution will be awarded by Reclamation.  Partial cash prizes may be considered for solutions that meet some, but not all, of the criteria.


All questions, registrations, and official entries are found via the InnoCentive website, which opens on the date of launch.

How To Enter

All questions, registrations, and official entries are found via the InnoCentive website, which opens on the date of launch.