Minimal Maintenance and Automated Operation

Minimally maintained, fully automated systems featuring simple user interface to increase confidence.

@willsarni, @ssinharay6, @akb, @GREENLY, do you think this should be one of the criteria according to which teams competing a Circular Water Economy XPRIZE would be judged?

Our prize designers have drafted 10 potential judging criteria. We’re asking community members to vote for 5 each to find out how we can create the most impactful yet audacious integrated wastewater treatment system.

If you think minimal maintenance and automation should be one of the 5, please vote this up by clicking on the arrow in the yellow box.


If sustainability in time means too much cost it has not sense to judge a low cost system but with complicated logistics and spare parts that will incide finally in the cost. From my point of viw it would make no sense.

(All of the proposed criteria sound good/useful to me, but here’s a comment in favour of this aspect…)

Minimal maintenance is a worthy criteria for most infrastructure projects, including water. Infrastructure is expected to be robust and have a long lifetime (or mean time between failures). The other aspect of maintenance might be adding chemicals (e.g. chlorine, ozone), changing filters and unblocking filters.

The automation aspect makes sense. Where things can be automated that should reduce operational costs. Automation can also help to reduce manual error - for example, see the aluminium-water disaster in the UK.

Digitisation and communication networks also mean that operational performance can be monitored remotely to ensure that efficiency, effectiveness and water quality are maintained.

If a network of water infrastructure systems are created then an intelligent system might be able to automatically balance supply to demand by distributing water where it is needed (anticipated).

@NickOttens As per my knowledge, the proposal seems to be well balanced. Apart from these mentioned criteria, we should also think about the long term performance of a system. In short, the stability or life span of the system must be evaluated before applying it in a real field.

Thank you all for your feedback here! Based on the votes this has received so far, it doesn’t seem the community believes minimal maintenance and automated operations should be a top priority. I want to do a final check to make sure that’s the case.

@staylor22, @Earthphoenix, @mvanberkel, @hydreco, if you haven’t already, could you give this a read and vote it up if you believe it should be one of the top 5 criteria for an Infinity Water Prize?

Please also feel free to share any feedback you might have.