Water/Energy Nexus Hackathon Invites Exploration of Technology for Conservation During Worst Drought in 100 Years

Posted in: Drought, United States Water News, Water Technology
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Article courtesy of Business Wire | June 12, 2015 | Virtual-Strategy Magazine | Shared as educational material

The 2015 Water/Energy Nexus Hackathon is coming in August, and the state of California should take notice. By combining water and energy technologies, the two-day event will allow students, professionals and enthusiasts to experiment, improve and unveil new methods to help us manage, interact and understand the growing relationship between water and energy, which is ever more critical given the current drought situation.

“The intersection between water and energy is crucial today, especially when we need to discover new ways to conserve water and energy,” said Robert MacLean, President of California American Water, the keynote sponsor of the hackathon. “Events like these can highlight how smart technologies and intelligent water grids can be enhanced even further if we take different approaches to accomplishing the same task.”

“There is no better time to hold this event,” said Christopher Peacock, founder of H2O and The Water Innovation Project, the event’s curator. “Considering how critical it is for state officials, business owners and citizens to find resilient solutions to deal with our drought driven paradigm, this two-day event can unveil new ways of thinking about how we interact with technology.”

By using certain tricks and tweaks with technologies – also dubbed as “hacks” – plenty of enthusiasts try different ideas that may unveil a better way of using that particular technology. The concept may seem designed for giant laboratories or wealthy think tanks, but there are plenty of modern-day solutions that have been inspired by (or even created at) events like hackathons.

Hackathons have seen new technologies and software become widely accepted in many households or businesses, typically as smaller start-up ventures are acquired by well-known corporations. This event, to be held at General Assembly in San Francisco, is expected to attract company leaders and entrepreneurs who are looking to take advantage of an open marketplace that’s in desperate need of solutions. Both Peacock and MacLean agree that a hackathon could generate multiple out-of-the-box ideas that could be extremely valuable for the water sector as well as the start-up groups that create the concepts.

“A few projects may start as a gimmick or on a whim, but industry leaders have commercialized some innovative concepts that grew from events like the Water/Energy Nexus Hackathon,” said Peacock. “This is the perfect time for entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts to collaborate in the water sector because the market is finally ready and able to adopt new technologies in light of our current climate conditions.”


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