CHICAGO, IL, OCT 27, 2017 -- The top 10 contenders in the George Barley Water Prize, a $10 million worldwide competition to find a solution to the algae crisis, were named today during a ceremony at Chicago's Field Museum. The top 10 teams, from the United States, Canada and The Netherlands, emerged from an initial field of 104 competitors from 13 countries.
"These 10 teams represent our best hope to solve the algae crisis that threatens drinking water supplies, kills fish and wildlife and is choking thousands of waterways around the globe," said Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, which is sponsoring the competition.
The Barley Prize is a multi-year, $10 million international incentive award to the team that develops a safe, cost-effective technology to remove phosphorus from water. Phosphorus, contained in urban and agricultural runoff and used widely in chemical fertilizers, is a principal cause of algae.
"Today, it would cost $3 trillion even to reduce the current phosphorus flow by just 10 percent," Eikenberg explained. "Scientists believe there is so much accumulated phosphorus in the system that, even if we could ban its use altogether, it would continue to be a serious pollutant for decades -- if not centuries -- to come."
Thanks to the cooperation of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Eikenberg explained that the top 10 contenders will now test their technologies under cold weather conditions in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, north of Toronto.
The 10 teams whose technologies were selected to advance in the Barley Prize competition are:
Global GPR, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Green Water Solutions, Inc., Wellington, Florida
MagPi, Delta, British Columbia, Canada
MetaMateria Technologies, LLC., Columbus, Ohio
MicroHAOPS, Inc., Seattle, Washington
Restoring the Natural P Cycle with HIX-Nano, Richboro, Pennsylvania
University of Idaho TEAM blueXgreen-Cool Planet, Moscow, Idaho
University of Waterloo, Toronto, Canada
U.S. Geological Survey, Leetown Science Center, Kearneysville, West Virginia
Wetsus NaFRAd ULTRA, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
The Presenting Sponsor for the Barley Prize is Scott's Miracle-Gro Foundation. Scott's has been an industry leader in addressing nutrient pollution from phosphorus, Eikenberg explained. In 2011, the company became the largest fertilizer manufacturer in the world to remove phosphorus from its fertilizer products.