Water Dragons 2017 - Open for Entries - What is your Innovation?

Article Date: 18th May 2017

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – Henry Ford

Future Water Association launched Water Dragons in 2008. It provides a unique opportunity for companies to pitch product, service or process innovations to a panel of senior water company executives and industry specialists: ‘Water Dragons’.  Entries are now invited for our 2017 Competition and we are currently completing arrangements for 4 Regional Heats throughout the year culminating with a Grand Final at the beginning of 2018.

Now in its tenth year, Water Dragons is itself innovating, 2016 saw three regional heats, attracting a wide range of excellent entries from across the sector, all in front of a live audience.

Like all the best ideas, the fundamentals underpinning Water Dragons are simple and straightforward. Companies pitch their innovation to the Dragons. The Dragons then cross-examine the presenters, focussing on three key areas:

  • Have they clearly identified the potential size and value of the market?
  • Have the presenters thought through how their innovation would be implemented?
  • No innovation operates in a vacuum - how will its introduction impact on existing operations, working practices and systems?

Water Dragons dovetails with the Future Water Association’s ‘Innovating for the future’ roadmap, innovation training modules and the newly launched Young Water Dragons. Together they help members travel the innovation journey with increased confidence and certainty.


Download the Water Dragons Entry Form
Download the Water Dragons Guidelines for Entrants


History and Innovations

Over its history 109 companies have entered with ideas and developments that:
increase ease of access to water mains; improve flow measurement; reducing shut off periods during pipe repairs; adopt in-situ lining trenchless technology practices; bring real-time blockage detection to sewer systems along with CSO mitigation; optimise activated sludge systems; increase leak detection; improve flow sensor systems in pipe networks; reduce CAPEX & OPEX at Wastewater Treatment plants; help mitigate flood risk in emergency situations; improve the management of Fat’s Oils & Greases (FOGs) and many more . The innovations have been across both product and services, driven by new ways of thinking.

The Water Dragons

The entrants have been challenged by judges from a range of companies and organisations including representatives from, Anglian Water, Irish Water, Northern Ireland Water, Southern Water, South West Water, South Staffs Water, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and Wessex Water. In addition ‘Dragons’ have also included Tier 1 contractors such as Skanska and Government bodies Innovate UK, KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network).

Water Dragons 2016

The first heat of 2016 held as part of the Severn Trent Innovation Day on 2 February saw iVapps take the Audience award and Nivus the Dragons award.

Utility Week Live at the NEC was the venue for our second heat on 17 May when Glan Agua took the top prize and Agily were highly commended.

The third heat held at our Camden House HQ saw Vikoma, Swift Comply and Hydraulic Analysis progress to the final hosted by Hydrosave and South Staffs Water.

The winners were announced at the 30th Anniversary Awards lunch in February with Nivus taking the overall award, and highly commended trophies going to Vikoma & Swift Comply.

  • Related initiatives:

Water Dragons Final 2016 & Young Water Dragons Initiative      


Water Dragons is a Future Water Association initiative aimed to support and develop the creative and future entrepreneurs of the water sector.  Water Dragons is the inspiration of Future Water Association member, John Batty of Bluejohn Marketing Ltd. John appeared on the BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ programme and realised its applicability to the innovation challenges facing the water industry. John is also the author of the ‘Innovating for the future’ roadmap. You can find out more about the services provided by Bluejohn Marketing at www.bluejohnmarketing.com.



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This was posted by future water association in Industry News

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