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Reclamation launches competition for sediment removal solutions

Credit: Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize competition seeking ideas that will lead to sediment removal solutions for water infrastructure.

The “Guardians of the Reservoir” challenge seeks ideas to remove or transport sediment building up in reservoirs and replace available space for water storage. There will be up to a total of $550,000 in cash prizes available for the competition.

This competition delivers on the Department of the Interior and Reclamation’s commitment to address challenges shared by Reclamation and its water customers and stakeholders—how to extend the service life of reservoirs in the face of accumulating reservoir sediments.

Sedimentation in reservoirs occurs when faster moving rivers transport sediment into slower moving water in reservoirs where it falls out and begins to fill the reservoir. Sedimentation reduces the amount of storage available in a reservoir, impacting the ability of reservoir owners to store water or reduce the risk of floods.

Reclamation is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NASA Tournament Lab and HeroX on this crowdsourcing competition.