The Arizona Community Foundation has chosen five finalists for its $250,000 New Arizona Prize Water Innovation Challenge.
The foundation, in collaboration with Republic Media and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, will award the prize to one of the finalists on Nov. 3. A previous Water Consciousness Challenge yielded $100,000 for a team that produced a multimedia awareness campaign.
Here are the new finalists and their ideas:
Recycling water to produce craft beers
Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department aims to use the prize to construct a mobile potable-reuse water treatment plant that can travel the state turning recycling waste into clean bottled water and, with local brewers’ participation, craft beers. The county proposal notes Arizona’s reliance on finite groundwater supplies and on rivers threatened by climate change as incentives for reusing wastewater for human consumption, but adds that proving the concept with public acceptance is crucial. “If potable reuse is done incorrectly, even just once,” the department writes, “it could set back regulation and public confidence for years to come.”