Water Dragons

Now in its 16th Year, Water Dragons provides a unique opportunity for companies from across the globe to pitch product, service or process innovations to a panel of senior water company executives and industry specialists.

Like all the best ideas, the fundamentals underpinning Water Dragons are simple and straightforward. Companies pitch their innovative product or service to the judges or ‘Dragons’, who cross-examine the presenters, focusing 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 through the years

Since 2008, 200+ companies have entered the competition with a wide variety of products and services aiming to meet some of the many challenges facing the water sector, including innovations to:

  • Increase ease of access to water mains
  • Improve flow measurement
  • Reduce 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

Each year, the first heat is held in partnership with the Canadian High Commission.

Each company presents an eight minute pitch to the Water Dragon judges. Following the pitches, each presenter faced questioning from the judges about the key characteristics and benefit of their innovation before a highly commended and 1st place is announced.

Read about Water Dragons Success Stories

Meet 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, Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and Wessex Water. ‘Dragons’ have also included Tier 1 contractors such as Skanska and Government bodies Innovate UK and the KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network). Discover previous Dragons.

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Have you got an innovation to enter? Read the entry guidelines


Water Dragons is a Future Water initiative aimed to support and develop the creative and future entrepreneurs of the water sector.  Water Dragons is the inspiration of Future Water 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.