Bureau of Reclamation Launches Prize Competition to Design Precipitation Measurement Devices

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The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize competition seeking new and improved ground-based precipitation devices. These devices should be reliable, accurate, low-maintenance, and able to operate in remote areas in extreme weather conditions. 

The Counting Every Drop Challenge is a two-phase prize competition totaling up to $300,000 in prizes. In Phase 1, the top eight selected solutions will be awarded $10,000 and invited to continue in the competition. The ideal solution will not require fluids, such as antifreeze, to operate. Phase 1 white papers describing proposed solutions are due on Oct. 24.

"Accurately measuring rain and snow is critical for water managers to understand how much water is available and for predicting floods and droughts," says Levi Brekke, senior advisor for research and development. "The goal of this prize competition is to develop new devices that increase accuracy and reliability while reducing maintenance so they can operate cost-effectively in extremely remote areas."

The selected teams will build their prototype in Phase 2. A preliminary review will be conducted during this phase. Up to five teams will receive $15,000 to continue prototype development during this phase. Teams that ship their prototype for testing will receive a $3,000 milestone award. The top solution that meets all the requirements and is fluid-free will receive $100,000. Other solutions will share $30,000 in innovation awards.

Reclamation is partnering with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, NASA Tournament Lab, Geonor, Inc., and Freelancer for this prize competition. To learn more, please visit www.usbr.gov/research/challenges/counteverydrop.html.

Reclamation conducts prize competitions to spur innovation by engaging a non-traditional, problem-solver community. Visit Reclamation's Water Prize Competition Center to learn more.



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