After more than two years of testing their technologies in laboratories and in the Lake Simcoe watershed, the four finalists in The George Barley Water Prize were announced today at the Epic Hall of the Toronto Reference Library. “These finalists represent our best hope for solving the algae crisis that is choking waterways worldwide,” said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of The Everglades Foundation, which is hosting the competition.
The George Barley Water Prize offers a $10-million incentive award to find a new technology capable of removing phosphorus from water supplies. For a 90-day stretch from February to May, 2018, these nine teams of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs—narrowed down from an original field of 104 international competitors—have been testing their technologies under cold weather conditions on The Holland Marsh. The four remaining teams will now advance to the final phase of the competition, called the“Grand Challenge, at Lake Jesup, near Orlando, Florida. “At Lake Jesup, the four finalists—University of Idaho, Clean Water Machine; Wetsus NAFRAD; Greenwater Solution Inc.; and The U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center—will engage in 14 months of intensive field testing under moderate and warm weather conditions,” Eikenberg said. “These final four teams will need to prove their technologies’ ability to work in both freezing and warm temperatures. This will be their opportunity to showcase the global applicability of their solutions.”