Okanagan Basin Water Board to launch first AquaHacking Challenge in B.C.

Okanagan Basin Water Board to launch first AquaHacking Challenge in B.C.

The Aquachallenge is where students and young-professionals test ideas to improve water issues

Students, tech leaders and those with an interest in freshwater issues gathered for the first-ever B.C. AquaHacking challenge, hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and Aqua Forum, held at UBC Okanagan on Tuesday.

AquaHacking was founded by the De Gaspe Beaubien Foundation five years ago with the goal of connecting youth and young professionals with an interest in freshwater issues, clean-tech innovation, and entrepreneurship with mentors who could help them launch real-world solutions.

READ MORE: Westbank-based financial broker raises $170 million bond for 22 First Nations

After five years and with funding from RBC Foundation to bring the program coast-coast, and further funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, organizers were ready to expand westward.

“As a member of the De Gaspe Beaubien family who is from B.C., it is really exciting to see a program like this come here, to harness the skills and talents of young British Columbians in having a positive impact on freshwater in the province,” noted Aidan Mattric, founder of Swerve Labs.

“We knew to expand we needed a great local partner like OBWB, a community leader with water management expertise and a partner that would be enthusiastic and receptive to work on these issues. I can’t wait to see what develops over the next few months and beyond.”

OBWB executive director Anna Warwick Sears is just as keen about the challenge.

“I’m excited about the challenge because of the opportunity to work with new partners, and to raise awareness for water issues among tech professionals and build stronger ties to the university and college community,” she said.

READ MORE: Kelowna fire crews knock down fire at former school board

The challenge is open to teams across Canada and it’s anticipated that the tech solutions coming out of this could deliver national, and international benefits.

The five water issues to be addressed as part of this year’s B.C. Aquachallenge include contaminants in stormwater, residential/commercial outdoor water use, flood damage in communities, mitigating the effects of invasive water species and access to potable water in Indigenous communities.

This challenge will be one of three events held across Canada in 2020. In each challenge, contestants will receive mentorship and skills-building workshops, while they compete for more than $50,000 in prizes and a secured spot in a start-up incubator.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

Kelowna RCMP on scene at Walmart on Banks Road, due to a suspicious package in the parking lot. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Large police presence at Kelowna Walmart for suspicious package

RCMP responded to the scene with all available units

Gary Brown Sr. (Contributed - West Kelowna Warriors)
West Kelowna Warriors honour late super-fan

The Warriors renamed its Fan of the Year award after devoted fan Gary Brown Sr. died last week

Kelowna’s Post-Modern Connection performs for Riot on the Roof on the top of the Vernon Parkade Saturday, Aug. 22. The band is scheduled to play in the “Live @ The KCT” series in Kelowna on Dec. 4. (Vernon Public Art Gallery photo)
Kelowna concert series moves online due to new health orders

Rebellious Unicorns series ‘Live @ The KCT’ has moved to an online model until further notice

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Multiple protesters cited unsubstantiated claims about the virus and the belief that their “rights are being violated” as reasons for their attendance. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘End the lock-down’ protesters hit the streets in Penticton

The group plans to gather every weekend until restrictions have been lifted, organizer says

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Revelstoke Mountain Resort was voted Best Ski Resort in Canada in the 2020 World Ski Awards. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Mountain Resort voted best in Canada

The World Ski Awards announced the 2020 winners

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read