Hackathon team wins with water-saving social gaming app

A team of hackathon participants won the HackZurich 2022 Xylem Water Challenge by developing an innovative app to promote sustainable water use.

Team WatApp has won the HackZurich 2022 Xylem Water Challenge with their social games app that helps people make smart water choices in their daily lives, develop long-lasting water-saving habits, and share their results with friends.

After sponsoring the event for the past two years, water technology company Xylem this year asked the participants of the hackathon to develop a versatile solution to change the public’s water habits and raise awareness of water threats through a revolutionary social gaming app that would improve water sustainability. WatApp achieved this during a 40-hour non-stop hackathon event in Zurich, Switzerland.

With water scarcity affecting billions of people worldwide every year, the WatApp team created an app that would improve water consumption habits by suggesting more sustainable choices using educational game features. The recommendations are generated from responses to personalized weekly challenges, taking into account current habits and location data. The app also presents water conservation within a local context. For example, if you live in Switzerland, the app will compare the amount of water you save to the daily average water consumption of a Swiss person.

“This year Europe experienced the worst drought in 500 years. It has never been more apparent how urgently we need to develop new, innovative, digital solutions to improve water sustainability,” said Hayati Yarkadas, Xylem’s president for Europe. “The participants in the annual Xylem Water Challenge are inspiring examples of the potential within the next generation of innovators. Their passion for solving real water problems will help make our world more sustainable.”

“I never imagined how much water goes into developing consumer goods, especially through indirect consumption. If we can make more people aware of sustainable water use, we can bring about meaningful change.” said Konstantinos Samaras-Tsakiris, a member of the WatApp team.

Xylem’s partnership with HackZurich is part of the Xylem Ignite program, a global initiative to build a network of student leaders passionate about water solutions and driving change in the water industry.

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