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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Guardians of the Reservoir Challenge

Help sustain America’s reservoirs. We’re looking for ways to remove sedimentation that regularly accumulates in reservoirs.

Department of the Interior - Bureau of Reclamation

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $550,000
Type of Challenge: Technology demonstration and hardware
Partner Agencies | Federal: NASA Tournament Lab, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: HeroX
Submission Start: 07/14/2020 12:00 PM ET
Submission End: 10/20/2020 5:00 PM ET


Reclamation, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is sponsoring this three-phase Guardians of the Reservoir Challenge. The goal of this challenge is to find and demonstrate innovative solutions that remove or transport the amount of sediment building up in the reservoirs, replacing available space for water storage, that provide critical water supplies for the country. The build-up of sediment leaves less room for water, and less water means that our reservoirs eventually may not be able to meet the demand of the communities we serve. Such impacts have been experienced at some Reclamation reservoirs and are anticipated to occur more frequently in the future. Reclamation’s primary interest is in technology that will move sediment downstream at the average annual rate at which it would otherwise accumulate but approaches that can help regain lost reservoir capacity are of interest if they can do so in addition to meeting environmental and other performance criteria.

Learn more about the competition here:


Total Cash Prize Pool: $550,000

Prize Breakdown:

  • Phase 1: As many as 5 of the top submissions will advance to Phase 2. Winners each receive $75,000 (total of $375,000 awarded)
  • Phase 2: As many as 3 of the top-performing approaches will advance to Phase 3. Winners each receive $25,000 (total of $75,000 awarded)
  • Phase 3: The top-performing approach wins $100,000

Non-monetary Prizes

The authors of the most compelling submissions to this Guardians of the Reservoir Challenge will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their technologies at increasing scales for the challenge sponsors. In addition to prize money, winners may receive review comments and/or observations from their technology demonstrations and may have additional opportunities to work with Reclamation, USACE, or their partners to further develop their approaches.


Rules, terms and conditions for the challenge can be found on the HeroX Guardians of the Reservoir website at


Each phase of the competition will have an evaluation panel. Learn more about the evaluation and judging criteria on the HeroX Guardians of the Reservoir website at

How to Enter

All submissions must be made online through the HeroX Guardians of the Reservoir website at