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The CWA team is your dedicated partner for creating and commercializing breakthrough water industry solutions, expanding your reach within U.S. markets, and accelerating your opportunities for global impact.
Our Accelerator Testbeds enable innovators to test, trial, pilot, and demonstrate their technologies within real-world environments with access to a range of conditions and settings while providing for legal and insurance considerations. We welcome innovators of any size, from start-ups, small and to mid-sized companies, to multinational, brand-name corporations.
We have 40 trials completed, underway, or scheduled with a growing waitlist for 2023 deployments!
Participation in CWA’s primary innovation programming - our Water Accelerator Testbeds and Open Innovation Challenges - is open to burgeoning and established companies alike. These programs are designed to elevate innovators by offering opportunities to gather feedback, test and trial technology, and connect with potential customers and end users.
As we continue to evolve and develop new technologies that address specific needs in the marketplace, we're immensely grateful for our partnership with Cleveland Water Alliance. They've created an easy avenue not only for innovators to refine and demonstrate their technologies, but also for users to evaluate for themselves what's going to make a positive difference in their proccesses."
- Andrew Luessenhop
Regional Sales Manager
Our Water Accelerator Testbeds program currently features two distinct testbed environments in which innovators can trial, test, or demonstrate their technologies:
Each facilitates a unique infrastructure suited for a variety of technology solutions.
Leverage CWA's telecommunications coverage and a network of locations to test, pilot, and demonstrate IoT solutions within a wide range of natural environments - from open water, beaches, and rivers to inland creeks, lakes, and ponds.
Mitigate risk with insurance support for qualified pilots.
Utilize benchmarking equipment and processes to validate technology performance against traditional against traditional methods and approaches.
Gain visibility with early adopters, potential buyers, and the broader market.
Creating a Smart, Connected Sandbox for IoT Technologies
Our Smart Lake Erie Watershed is available serves as a testbed for a wide range of Internet-of-Things (IoT) and supporting other technologies, from sensors, sensor-housings and network extenders to data platforms, cyber-security and predictive analytics.
With over 6200 square miles (16,000 km) of telecommunications coverage already in place, the infrastructure CWA is evolving across the Lake Erie watershed makes it possible to deploy in a variety of environments, including:
CWA’s network of hundreds of data sensors deployed across the Lake Erie watershed provides an infrastructure of best-in-class equipment for companies and innovators to compare and measure technology performance.
IoT (Internet of Things) describes various physical objects that are equipped with sensors or other devices, connected through an internet or telecommunications network. CWA has worked to outfit a variety of buoys, marine infrastructures, and shoreline structures with sensors that provide data about the real-time lake and watershed conditions.
IoT technologies comprise a significant portion of the growing environmental monitoring and “smart water management” landscapes. According to a January 2022 report, the global environmental monitoring market – which includes sensors for monitoring air, water and soil – is projected to grow $3.4 billion by 2026. Other reports estimate that the global market for water-quality sensors alone is growing by a rate of nearly double that.Further research projects that the global “smart water management” market will exceed $23 billion by 2027, at a growth rate of over 12%. This includes “sensors, smart meters, communication infrastructure, and software that enables two-way communication” supporting the water industry.
CWA’s various buoys from nearshore to far offshore have a range of sensors gathering a variety of data. Here are some examples of the data parameters currently gathered from buoys around the Lake Erie Watershed:
Check out our innovator showcase featuring a few recent testbed participants:
In addition to our Smart Lake Erie testbeds, CWA partners with Cleveland Water to provide innovators with access to a Pipe Farm.
The Pipe Farm Testbed is has been created to test and demonstrate technologies that can physically detect the material comprising service lines without breaking ground, and without the use of broader data inputs (like statistical/AI-prediction methods), The envisioned technology or device would ultimately be used by utility contractors during service-line replacement seasons in the field.
The Pipe Farm Testbed is a parcel of land which contains a small, simulated version of a water distribution system buried underground. The simulation includes service-line pipes comprised of various materials such as lead, copper, galvanized steel, and brass, buried beneath soil, sand, clay, gravel, and more.
Environmental exposure to lead can have significant health impacts, especially to our most vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Though the U.S. has been implementing legislation to mitigate the harmful effects of lead for over 50 years, events like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan have put a new spotlight on lead exposure which can enter water systems as a result of the corrosion of lead-containing pipes and plumbing materials. As we face aging water infrastructure across the country, the US EPA has been evaluating stricter regulations around the use of lead in water service lines.
Currently, the US EPA is targeting 2024 for water utilities across the country to provide a complete materials inventory of the water service lines within their distribution systems.
This development represents a pivotal market driver for innovations in the detection of lead service lines in the very near future. Utilities have few ways of effectively and accurately identifying these antiquated service lines across their entire territories without physically excavating and examining each individual line, making this approach impractical and prohibitively expensive.
There is an urgent need for a technology to detect service line materials in situ, without the need for excavation. The creation of a tool or technology that is capable of detecting service line materials including lead, copper, and galvanized steel, to an efficiency of 90% or greater without excavation would serve as an asset to the water industry in achieving this EPA regulatory requirement.