Water Resilience Innovation Challenge

With the growing frequency of droughts, wildfires, failures of aging infrastructure and other extreme climate events, competition for water resources is increasing. This affects U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) missions, its installations and the surrounding communities.

The challenge seeks University of Hawai‘i researchers and students to develop innovative solutions to address the resiliency and sustainability of water resources in identified areas.

Play Video

Watch the virtual kickoff event

Kickoff presentation slides

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Innovation Topic Areas

 Stewardship of Natural Systems

  • Coordination of disparate systems, data and models to protect water for future use
  • Integration of sustainable solutions into operations, including infrastructure planning
  • Protection of water resources from contamination and other threats

 Incorporating Water Source Alternatives

  • Additional sources to decrease the impact on natural systems due to increased need
  • Increase in efficiency of water use and/or reduction of water loss
  • Decrease in cost and energy efficiency of wastewater treatment and/or hazard prevention or mitigation

 Reimagining Resources and Infrastructure

  • Assessment, maintenance, replacement and/or repair of existing infrastructure
  • Assessment of impacts on available resources and system resilience due to environment and climate changes
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Join the Challenge


  • Research and development funding up to $75,000
  • Network with leaders from the community and U.S. DoD branches
  • Collaborate with researchers and industry leaders
  • Opportunity for follow-on activities and funding

Who can participate

  • University of Hawai‘i faculty and researchers
  • University of Hawai‘i students with faculty advisor(s)
  • Public or Private partners with University of Hawai‘i faculty lead

Important Dates

  • September 8, 2023 @ 11:59 pm HST – Application deadline (required to submit white paper)
  • September 15, 2023 @ 11:59 pm HST – White paper due
  • October 2023 – Project pitch event (in-person event)
  • August 2024 – Demonstration day event (in-person event)
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Challenge Rules

  • Projects must be led by a UH researcher; students submitting a proposal must have a UH faculty advisor
  • Funding cannot be used to purchase equipment
  • The research team must maintain regular communication with the DoD partner and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization
  • All projects are subject to applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and UH policies and procedures
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