Past Competitions

Imperfection Detection: Detect Me If You Can

The Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are seeking a portable tool or system for in situ (field) inspection of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structures that can identify defects or damage accumulated during field service. Read More →

    Divide & Conquer: Modeling Large-Scale Hydraulics Faster

    Reclamation’s Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group is looking for solutions to significantly improve the execution speed of numerical models that simulate hydraulics and sediment transport for rivers and reservoirs. Read More →

    Water America's Crops

    The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a prize competition to reduce the amount of water seeping from canal infrastructure throughout the West. The Water America's Crops Challenge seeks to improve water delivery efficiency and minimize canal failures for America's agriculture by reducing water seeping from a canal into the ground. Read More →

    Guardians of the Reservoir

    This competition aims to jumpstart interests and activities to improve sediment removal strategies and stimulate interest in the industry for potential partnerships to further develop innovative solutions. Read More →

    More Water, Less Concentrate

    As the demand for fresh water increases, the need to develop new water supplies from non-traditional water sources, such as saline (brackish) groundwater and surface water using desalination technologies continues to grow. Read More →

    Snowcast Showdown

    Water resource managers use measurements and estimates of the amount of water stored in a snowpack (SWE) for streamflow and water supply forecasts, which then inform a wide range of management decisions, including managing reservoir storage levels, setting seasonal water allocations, and responding to extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

    Streamflow and water supply forecasts rely primarily on measuring SWE on the ground and air, which are limited in areas covered and times measured. High resolution satellite imagery offers promising opportunities to improve snow monitoring—using satellite imagery to estimate SWE remains an active research area. This challenge focuses on using machine learning methods that provide flexible and efficient algorithms for data-driven models and real-time prediction. Read More →

    Automated Maintenance of Protection Systems (AMPS) Challenge

    After the August 2003 blackout, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) developed comprehensive reliability standards including testing requirements to prevent another large power outage. Read More →

    Rust Busters: Join the Resistance!

    Water infrastructure in the United States is critical to the domestic economy, commerce, and resource management. There are thousands of existing hydraulic steel structures (HSS) that require regular maintenance and upkeep. Original methods to protect HSS are disfavored or no longer used due to environmental and safety concerns. Newer approaches to corrosion control suffer from higher costs, shorter service life, and reduced efficacy. Read More →

    Streamflow Forecast Rodeo

    This challenge seeks to improve the skill of short-term streamflow forecasts (10 days) via a year-long competition. It is intended for solvers to develop and implement their methods for locations across the western United States to ideally outperform state-of-practice streamflow forecasts. With this approach, Reclamation aims to spur innovation using data science communities and Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) methods toward enhancing streamflow forecasts. Read More →

    Canal Safety

    The Canal Safety Challenge, a collaboration with the Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Water, Klamath Irrigation District, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, is a public competition focused on discovering solutions to improve public safety and reduce drownings in canals throughout the U.S. and make egress from the canals easier or allow for safer rescue and recovery efforts. Read More →

    Rodeo II: Sub-Seasonal Climate Forecasting

    Improved sub-seasonal forecasts for weather and climate conditions (lead times ranging from 15-42 days and beyond) would allow water managers to better prepare for shifts in hydrologic regimes, such as the onset of drought or occurrence of wet weather extremes. Read More →

    Arsenic Sensor

    Measuring arsenic in the environment and in drinking water is important for protecting human health. Drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities are subject to arsenic regulations in order to limit human exposure and environmental contamination. Read More →

    Colorado River Basin Data Visualization Challenge

    Reclamation seeks innovative, interactive, and user-driven visualizations to improve the understanding of past, current, and projected water conditions in the Colorado River Basin. Read More →

    DataApp: A Mobile App Framework for Field Data Capture

    Development of a flexible, extensible, and open source data collection app framework for mobile devices will facilitate the use of mobile devices for field data collection, which in turn will improve data collection efficiency, lower data collection costs, and improve data quality, transparency, and dissemination for applications to management, decision making, and scientific discovery. Read More →

    Lowering the Cost of Continuous Streamflow Monitoring

    A successful solution to this Prize Competition will significantly reduce the cost of continuous streamflow monitoring and increase the availability of streamflow data that is vital to the effective planning, design, and operation of water resources projects. Read More →

    More Water, Less Concentrate

    As the demand for fresh water increases, the need to develop new water supplies from non-traditional water sources, such as saline (brackish) groundwater and surface water using desalination technologies continues to grow. Read More →

    Pathogen Monitoring

    The Bureau of Reclamation, with financial support from Xylem, Inc, in collaboration with The Water Research Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, are seeking the development of rapid, accurate, and preferably on-line/on-site monitoring techniques to provide added protection of public health and optimize the design and operations of advanced water treatment facilities. Read More →

    Fish Protection: Excluding Fish From Water Diversions and Intakes

    Building off of Reclamation's successful scoping prize "Improving Fish Exclusion from Water Diversions and Intakes" in 2019 (see Archive below), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced the opening of the Fish Protection Prize. Read More →

    Downstream Fish Passage at Tall Dams

    The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with other federal agencies (U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) are seeking new ideas for gaining successful and cost-effective downstream passage of juvenile fish at tall (high-head) dams. Read More →

    Eradication of Invasive Mussels in Open Water

    The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking innovative solutions to eradicate invasive zebra and quagga mussels from large reservoirs, lakes, and rivers in a cost effective and environmentally sound manner. Read More →

    Indirect Estimates of Reservoir Water Storage

    Accumulating sediments pose a significant problem for Reclamation in determining how to measure reservoir storage capacities. Read More →

    New Concepts for Remote Fish Detection

    TThe ability to track individual or groups of fish is central to efforts to recover threatened and endangered fish species, and to reduce impacts to at-risk species. Read More →

    Quantifying Drift Invertebrates in River and Estuary Systems

    Habitat restoration, improvement, and creation in rivers, streams, and estuaries are key elements for the recovery of salmon, trout, and other critical fish species in the United States. Millions of dollars are spent annually on activities such as manipulating flow regimes, adding structural elements such as wood or rock, reconnecting rivers with their floodplains, and restoring wetlands. Read More →

    Detecting the Movement of Soils within Earthen Dams, Canals, Levees, and their Foundations

    The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is seeking new methods for detecting the movement (erosion) of soils in earthen structures and foundations. Read More →

    Detecting Leaks and Flaws in Water Pipelines

    Reclamation and our collaborators are seeking methods and technologies that can reliably and easily detect leaks and flaws in operating, pressurized water pipeline infrastructure regardless of size, depth of burial, pipe material or interior lining. Read More →

    Preventing Rodent Burrows in Earthen Embankments

    he Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety Branch, and various water irrigation districts that operate federal canals, is seeking new ideas for cost-effective ways to prevent rodents from burrowing into the earthen embankments of dams, canals, and levees. Read More →

    Powering Electronic Instruments on a Rotating Shaft

    New power source solutions are needed to permanently install low power instruments on the generator’s rotating shaft to collect continuous data pertinent to operation and performance of the machine. Read More →


Last Updated: 8/25/23