Water Dragons

Launched in 2008, Water Dragons provides a unique opportunity for companies to pitch product, service or process innovations to a panel of senior water company executives and industry specialists.




Now in its 15th year, Water Dragons continues to evolve with the introduction of virtual heats attracting a wide range of entries from both across the sector and around the world.

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, 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 2021 

First heat held in partnership with the Canadian High Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT)

On World Water Day 2021, 100+ attendees joined the virtual event to watch each company present an eight minute pitch to the Water Dragon judges. Following the pitches, where presenters identified the market need and challenges addressed by their water focussed innovation, each presenter faced questioning from the judges about the key characteristics and benefit of their innovation.

  • International Heat Winner – FloNergia Inc. FloMov™
  • Highly Commended – AquaSensing Battery-free Leak Detection


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.

Qinov8 and their leak seeking solution declared 2020 Water Dragons winner 

The innovations pitched to the Water Dragon judges during the 2020 final held on 26 April 2021, ranged from virtual water audit solutions to stabilising and enriching soil with the use of polymers. Despite the high standard of all five entries, there could be only one winner, and on this occasion that winner was Qinov8 with their innovative solution to finding and repairing leaks in pipes, the AQUAPEA®. Read more about the final.

Click on the graphic below to watch Qinov8’s winning pitch and see how they respond to questions from the judges.

Read about previous finals:   2016   |   2017   |  20182019

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


Read about Water Dragons Success Stories

Proudly Sponsored by:

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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.