Challenge offers $15,000 prize for best water idea

The Minnesota Idea Open project has a new challenge: come up with the best idea for addressing water issues around the state and win $15,000 to help make it happen.

Submit an idea before July 15 to be part of the competition. Experts will narrow the ideas to three finalists and then Minnesotans will vote for their favorite solution. The Idea Open will fund $15,000 to the “Champion” idea to make that idea a reality.

Say organizers:

While Minnesota has always enjoyed an abundance of water, our contamination of it and use of it continues to increase at alarming rates. That’s why the Foundation is featuring it as Challenge II. Consider the following:

The average Minnesotan household uses 30-60 gallons of water each time we shower, 30-50 gallons every time we run the washing machine, and 6-8 gallons each time we flush the toilet.

Pollution of our water, the introduction of invasive species, and the drying up of streams and rivers may limit the continued recreational use of our lakes.

Water contamination and consumption also pose a major challenge for farmers, whose livelihood depends on an abundance of clean water. In each growing season, corn requires 54 gallons of water per plant, tomatoes require 35 gallons, and potatoes require 25 gallons.

 The Minnesota Idea Open is a project of Minnesota Community Foundation; lead partner in this challenge is Pentair and its foundation.

Last year’s challenge was to find ways to fight obesity. The $15,000 winner: Christine Tubbs and her idea, Kids Lead the Way, “a youth-led program that puts kids in the decision-making chair when it comes to making healthy food choices and developing life-long habits for active living.”

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