Washington, D.C. — The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a prize challenge seeking new or improved techniques to remove sediment from reservoirs in a cost-effective manner. Sedimentation in reservoirs can be a significant problem by limiting the active life of reservoirs by reducing available water storage capacity or flood control benefits. Sedimentation also impacts dam outlets, reservoir water intakes, water quality, recreation, upstream flood stage, and downstream habitat.

This is a theoretical challenge where solvers can provide ideas on sediment collection, transport, or delivery to the downstream river. In a theoretical challenge the only thing required is a white paper. Solvers are asked to submit their idea with detailed descriptions, drawings, illustrations, specifications, supporting data or literature, and any other things that would be needed to bring the idea to practice.

In this first stage, a total prize pool of $75,000 is available. The minimum full amount award is $15,000. Depending on the proposal, Reclamation may award more than that up to the total prize purse. If this first stage produces winning concepts and Reclamation determines a second stage is beneficial, it will launch a subsequent challenge where participants will be asked to present their proposal and provide a working prototype. In addition to an anticipated higher monetary award, Reclamation will invite industry, non-profit organizations, and venture capital representatives to the Stage 2 presentations and testing.

Submissions for this competition must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 4, 2019.

Reclamation is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Regulatory Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service and American Rivers on various aspects of this prize competition.

To learn more about this prize competition and other competitions Reclamation has hosted, visit https://www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/index.html.