AquaHacking BC

Welcome to the AquaHacking BC Challenge 2020! We are so glad that you're here. If you're ready to register, click the "JOIN" button to the right. If you're ready to learn about the Water Issues for this challenge - scroll down!

Use this page to connect with teammates, learn about the BC water issues (scroll down!), and find all of the workshop details (available after the Kick off). Make sure to save this page as you will be coming back to it often to stay up-to-date with the program!

About the AquaHacking Challenge 2020 – British Columbia

Each year, through the AquaHacking Challenge, we engage with rising gen hackers, engineers and marketers from various universities to create multidisciplinary teams and develop clean-tech engineering, web and mobile solutions to solve water issues affecting different regions in Canada.

This year, for the FIRST time, the AquaHacking Challenge is brought to British Columbia, hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is an inter-regional local government agency founded in 1970, under B.C. provincial legislation, to promote the shared water interests of Okanagan communities. Its vision is to have clean and healthy water in perpetuity, meeting the needs of natural ecosystems, residents and agriculture – now and in the future.

As the focus of the Challenge is demand-driven innovation, the water issues that will be tackled are designed and submitted by leading water organizations. These ‘water issue leaders’ will provide expert insights to the hacking teams to ensure they better understand the issues. The water issue leaders will also provide access to relevant data.

AquaHacking Challenge founding sponsor, IBM Canada, has also provided their Watson APIs, Cloud access and more, to competing teams for the duration of the Challenge.

The expected results at the end of the Challenge are functional, marketable, and demand-driven solutions that have a real and measurable impact on solving critical water issues. 80% of winning teams since 2015 (that is 16 teams!) have continued on to become successful water-tech start-ups with their products at various stages of development and in-market.

AquaHacking Challenge – British Columbia Water Issues

For the AquaHacking BC Challenge, each team will need to choose ONE of the Water Issues listed below. The specific issues will be announced on Oct 29th, at the kick-off event that will take place at the UBC Okanagan Campus in the EME building Foyer. 

Info sessions (webinars):


Oct 24 - 12 PM - PST: Register here

Oct 25 -  2 PM -  PST: Register here


Kick-Off Event:

Attend in person or via Facebook Live

October 29 - 11 am– PST:  Register here

Each of the Water Issues is supported by a team of experts representing organizations working at the leading edge of their field in water. The videos [released on October 29th] allow you to hear from the Water Issue Leaders directly, who will share why the water issue is at a critical point of needing a solution.

Watch them to gain a better understanding of what will be required in order to create a meaningful solution. Once your team has chosen a Water Issue, you will be connected with the Water Issue Leaders who will support you throughout the development of your solution. More details of the water issues will also be available during the Kick-off event on October 29th.

The thematic areas for the BC AquaHacking Challenge are:

  • Storm water Contamination
  • Water Waste
  • Flood Damage
  • Polluted Water in Indigenous Communities
  • Aquatic Invasive Species

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