AquaHacking calls on youth to mobilize for Canada’s most vital resource

University students and experts to collaborate on clean-tech solutions for Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Basin

TORONTO, March 21, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, Aqua Forum kicks off the fourth AquaHacking Challenge, calling on North American youth (18-35) and sector experts to unite in solving the pressing issues that face the world’s largest system of fresh surface water – the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin. As part of the Challenge, multi-disciplinary teams will unite to develop clean-tech engineering, web and mobile solutions that are functional, marketable and will have a measurable impact on the quality of water resources in Canada and the US. Lake Ontario will be the focus of this year’s Challenge.

AquaHacking will empower participants to tackle real problems impacting the quality and sustainability of Lake Ontario and the whole Basin over the next seven months. For the duration of the challenge, each team will have access to water, programming, AI, engineering, design, data analysis and business strategy mentors with the goal of ensuring that the solutions being developed are practical and marketable. The four challenges included in the 2018 AquaHacking Challenge are current issues facing Lake Ontario that were submitted by stakeholders such as eNGOs, private sector, universities, municipalities and water organisations.

“AquaHacking is more than just a challenge; it is a movement that empowers Canada’s next generation of innovators to use their ingenuity to solve issues and build businesses to actively preserve and protect our most vital resource – our fresh water supply,” said Claude Perras, Executive Director of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation. “The solutions developed during the AquaHacking Challenge showcase the entrepreneurial and innovative spirt of North American youth and result in solutions that have a lasting impact.”

From climate change to chemical run off from industry and agriculture, there are several significant threats to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin that will be addressed during AquaHacking 2018 – Lake Ontario & Beyond. A panel of expert judges will select the winners of the challenge at Ontario Water Innovation Week in Toronto in October. Winning teams will share $50,000 in prize money and will earn placements in local incubator spaces to foster their ideas.

Since its inception in 2015, AquaHacking has engaged over 500 programmers, engineers and students and has resulted in eleven technological and engineering solutions that are either in development or on the market. To learn more about AquaHacking, this year’s event and past winners, please visit:

About Aqua Forum

The de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation spearheaded Aqua Forum, which is also supported by various organisations such as IBM, RBC, Keurig, GHD, Ovivo, Logistec, Ontario Power Generation and the Goodman Family Foundation. Aqua Forum runs the AquaHacking Challenge and is developing a new programme which will focus on positioning water-related issues as a health issue to raise public awareness and incite new action on water quality improvement efforts in North America.

SOURCE Aqua Forum

CONTACT: Media Contacts: Carla Maggiotto, Media Profile, 416-342-1829,; Stephanie Bell, Media Profile, 416-342-1839,

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