The U.S. Department of State showcased innovative American water technologies at “USTech H2.O,” a half-day event held on Friday, March 21 in Washington, DC in celebration of World Water Day.
The stars of the show were 28 game-changing water technologies, developed by Americans, selected by an independent panel of experts, and presented at the Department of State. These technologies included pioneering approaches to water treatment, purification, pumping, monitoring, testing, energy and nutrient recovery, and water plant design. Six top technology providers - Innovative Water Technologies, ProCleanse, AguaClara, Puralytics, Floating Island Solutions, and KII, Inc. - delivered short high-impact on-stage presentations, and 22 of them showcased their solutions in the State Department’s Exhibit Hall.
The event featured remarks by Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Catherine Novelli, who highlighted the linkage between the availability of clean water, climate change, and economic prosperity. Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John Holdren addressed the importance of innovation in conserving and purifying water, as well as the inextricable link between water, energy, and climate change. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones delivered opening remarks for the event. Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst,” spoke about technological ingenuity in the water sector and moderated the technology portion of the event. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes announced the semi-finalists for USAID’s “Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development,” and unveiled the Desal Prize competition, which features a $500,000 grand prize for organizations that develop innovative desalination technologies to provide safe water for drinking and agricultural use. Also speaking at the event were the U.S. Water Partnership’s Chair Hattie Babbitt, John Spears from the Small Business Administration, and two American “WASH for Life” grantees.
Concurrent to the on-stage presentations, technologists highlighted their break-through achievements in the Exhibit Hall, and engaged with U.S. Government agencies involved in technology development, commercialization and export support, including the Small Business Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID, and the U.S. Department of State.
The event was hosted by the State Department in partnership with McWane Industries, ProTexting, and the U.S. Water Partnership. Over the next five years, the U.S. Water Partnership will contribute over $650 million dollars to water-related projects around the world.