This morning, I didn’t have access to water.
Although I live in a developed area, poor maintenance of the main pipe down the road caused it to burst, leaving my neighbourhood not only to an asset that’s considered a basic human right, but also a utility that I’m paying for.
This, however, is one of the few minor cases of water shortages in South Africa. My fridge is luckily stocked with a few litres of cold water, and my workplace has ample access.
But I’m a very lucky individual, for many people in our country lack of access to water is the least of their problems. But there’s something we can do, and we could be rewarded for it too.
#Hack4Water is a competition run by The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the Open Government Partnership South Africa (OGPSA). Here’s what you’ll need to do: shoot a two-to-five-minute video showing off your solution for saving water, upload it to YouTube, submit it, and you could be in line to win if the judges like your entry.
The announced prizes at the moment include media spots showing off your idea. There’s also other great stuff to be won, including “cash prizes, funding for your project, tablets and more” but we can’t find any exact details on those as of yet.
If you’re worried that you’d need to be an engineer and come up with something complex, fret not. The contest is actually looking for a broad range of entries:
“Your hack could be a big idea, solution, commercial product, community initiative, school project, home solution, inspiring water story, app or online tool, research paper, invention, awareness campaigns, cool water-related song or dance or something we haven’t thought of.”
You’ve got multiple chances to win thanks to being five separate categories ranging from individuals working on their own up to professional researchers and universities.
At the time of writing, you still have more than 27 days to enter. In addition: your idea is only up against 73 other entries, so it won’t be too much of an uphill battle.
If you’d like to take part, follow the links below:
- Main page where you can upload your entry
- If you’d like to keep your video private, email the link to [email protected]
- More info, including FAQ and terms and conditions
We’ll get you started with an idea: using metal detectors to identify leaking water pipes without digging them up. You can have that one for free, but we expect a shoutout in your acceptance speech.