Water accelerator Testbeds

Accelerating Innovations to Market

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To trial or demonstrate your technology
in the world's largest digitally connected
body of freshwater

CWA's Water Accelerator Testbed is
accepting applications for new tech.

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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 future deployments!

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Opportunities for

  • Accelerator Space with US-Based Office Address
  • Direct Investment, Seed funding, and financing Support
  • Research and Industry Collaboration
  • Prototyping and Manufacturing
  • Market Visibility and Connections

Innovators Welcome

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
In-Situ Environmental

Our Program

Our Water Accelerator Testbeds program currently features two distinct testbed environments in which innovators can trial, test, or demonstrate their technologies:

  1. Lake Erie Watershed Testbeds
  2. Lead Service Line Research Facility

Each facilitates a unique infrastructure suited for a variety of technology solutions.

Gear turning with a person inside

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.

Gear turning with a lightbulb inside

Utilize benchmarking equipment and processes to validate technology performance against traditional against traditional methods and approaches.

Gear turning with a wrench inside

Gain visibility with early adopters, potential buyers, and the broader market.

Target turning

Lake Erie Watershed Testbeds

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:

  • Open water
  • Streams
  • Rivers
  • Ponds
  • Wetlands
  • And more
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Learn more about our Smart Lake Erie Watershed Initiative

The Technology

Illustrated lab tube

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.

What is Internet of Things (IoT) Tech?

Illustrated computer chip

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.

2 men standing in front of a car with sensors on a bridge

The Market for Water IoT technology is rapidly growing

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 is Creating a Hub for Water IoT with a variety of applications in the lifecyle of IoT Tech

Data Housing
Data Management
Cloud Platforms
AI & Predictive Analysis
Cyber Security

Test & Trial Technology Against our Existing Benchmark Data

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:

  • Rainfall
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Water level
  • Soil moisture/ temperature
  • Turbidity
  • Conductivity
  • Relative humidity
  • Air temperature
  • Solar radiation
  • Water temperature
  • Chlorophyll
  • Motion Detection (PIR)

Featured Deployments

Check out our innovator showcase featuring a few recent testbed participants:

In-Situ logoBioceanor logoXylem logo
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View Innovator Showcase

Lead Service Line Research Facility

In addition to our Smart Lake Erie Watershed testbeds, CWA partners with Cleveland Water to provide innovators with access to a Lead Service Line Research Facility.

The Lead Service Line Research Facility 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 Lead Service Line Research Facility 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.

The need for technology that can detect lead pipes underground

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.

People standing in a field with equipment

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.

Do you have a technology in any stage that meets these qualifications?

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Contact us at innovate@clewa.org