Water/Energy Nexus hackathon is a 'live science fair' for sustainability
(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/littlehenrabi)
Later this month, the Water Innovation Project is set to launch the 2015 Water / Energy Nexus hackathon in San Francisco. Beginning on August 15th, hackers will create innovative ways of tackling important sustainability issues over the course of 36 hours.
The hackathon describes itself as more akin to 'a live science fair' which aims to leverage data to better understand the dynamics of water/energy. You would think with all our technological advances that water is one thing we can manage efficiently – but you just have to look at Los Angeles' deployment of 'shade balls' this week to realise this is not the case.
“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.”
Projects at hackathons and by startups often gain the attention of larger companies; with environmental technology proving to be a hot pick. Take a look at current Kickstarter project Nebia, a shower head reducing water consumption by 70% which has attracted investment from Apple CEO Tim Cook along with other high-profile industry figures.
“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.”
Along with the potential to reap great financial rewards for your creativity; you also have the moral reward of helping generations to come. Earlier this week Hackfest reported on another 'Hack for Good' hackathon, GeoHack, which aims to use location data to help tackle world problems.
GeoHack is hosted by GIS mapping specialists, ESRI, who also sponsor the Water / Energy Nexus hackathon. Their 'ArcGIS' platform allows developers to make use of powerful geographic data around the world to make vital decisions which could be useful when creating solutions for water and energy sustainability.
Jim Barry, Head of developer outreach at Esri, told Hackfest:
“We have been participating a lot more in hackathons lately oriented around natural resources, climate resilience, etc. The consequences of drought also happen to be something Esri here in the US is directly affected by. These past few years, California has been severely impacted by historically severe drought conditions, which have made our status-quo use of water unsustainable, and now critically so. We believe that whatever we can do to support the use of technology, combined with the collective talents of innovative participants, that we can help a great deal. We need to be smarter, less wasteful, and ensure that the most significant needs are met first. We can use technology to help us figure out how to get the most we can from the limited water available, until these changes put us into a position where we are taking out less than nature is giving us.”
For more information about the 2015 Water/Energy Nexus hackathon, visit their website here.