Clean Water Challenge - Frequently Asked Questions

1) Create tangible, cost effective solutions to complex, pervasive water quality problems

2) Raise awareness of the extent and impact of urban waterway pollution, the importance of protecting our valuable water resources, and the economic and financial considerations of waterway pollution issues and solutions.

  • This competition is for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a Colorado-based institution of higher education
  • All academic disciplines are welcome and interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. Along with creativity and innovation, environmental economics and business perspectives will be crucial to be successful in this competition. 

Teams will register all members on this website. Team Registration link can be found on the home page!

  • Hands-on learning about a current significant water challenge, and opportunity to develop an implementable solution
  • Professional networking 
  • Feedback from professionals in a variety of fields
  • Access to business classes through the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  • Cash prizes for the top three teams: First Place – $3,000     Second Place – $2,000     First Place – $1,000
  • Along with the cash prize, the winning team will invitation to participate in Trout Tank Sustainability as a member of the cohort

All work must be completed by the student team, however, we encourage collaboration and utilizing your academic, professional, and personal networks to create the best solution possible! In April 2022, teams will present their proposed solution along with a high-level business concept to a panel of interdisciplinary judges. 

A competition handbook will be available by the end of August. Please send any immediate questions to

  • Work with TWC to develop competition materials
  • Offer professional advice and insight to the student teams
  • Share this competition with your network
  • Be a judge at the final pitch event.  Judges will be selected by TWC pending identification of student team topics.
  • Financially sponsor this competition

If you are a professional interested in any of these opportunities,
please contact the Director of The Water Connection, Devon Buckels at

Still have questions? 
Please email Lauren Berent Burgess at