Press Release: Dreampipe II Launched

DFID makes up to £1,000,000 of cash prizes available to innovators in the sector.

 Friday, October 21, 2016.

 On October 21, Dreampipe II launched at the International Water Association Water Ideas 2016 Conference in Bologna. The objective of Dreampipe II is to encourage the development of workable and replicable ideas for how to expand the financing available for non-revenue-water (NRW) reduction activities in developing countries – beyond the conventional sources ( which are predominantly development banks, agencies and governments). The key will be to find ways to reduce perceived risk for the new sources, especially (but not only) for commercial lenders.

 Up to 10 winners for Phase 1 can win £30,000 each. Up to £1,000,000 of prize money is available over the course of the challenge.

 Dreampipe II is open to applicants from around the world. Proposed solutions will also have to be applicable in one (or several) of the 28 DFID target countries.

 Every year 32m cubic metres of treated water physically leak from urban supply systems. Additionally 16 million cubic metres of water is delivered to customers for zero revenue. This puts a significant strain on government resources and their ability to deliver to the public.

 Reducing water losses and illegal connections is a key challenge in developing countries. Expanding the financing available for these efforts will help bring clean water at lower cost to more of the world’s poor”. - Prize Director, Chris Shugart.

 This prize call is part of the Ideas to Impact programme, implemented by IMC Worldwide, which seeks to find innovative solutions to development challenges in the areas of climate change, energy access and WASH.

 Dreampipe II is targeted at water utility experts, financial experts and transaction advisors who may or may not have prior experience in the water sector. Interested innovators are encouraged to register at by February 15, 2017. The deadline for entries for stage one of the challenge is March 15, 2017.

 To learn more about the programme please visit

 Contact: Froeydis Gording, Prize Manager, IMC Worldwide:


Press Release: Launch of Dreampipe Challenge

LONDON, 1 February 2016: Dreampipe, a major British government-funded, multi-year innovation prize, was launched today, aiming to stem the amount of water lost in developing countries through leakage, meter inaccuracies and unauthorized use.

The initiative will spur improved ways of mobilising funding to reduce the vast amounts of 'non-revenue water' (NRW) – the difference between water entering the system and water billed to customers – in developing countries. The total purse for prize winners is £1.25mn ($1.8mn) to be distributed in several tranches over two stages (up to five in stage I and three in stage II) over the next 22 months. The competition will appeal to financial specialists and water utility experts – most likely working together. It is expected that successful solutions will mobilise multiple times the prize purse in funding.

Reducing NRW lowers costs, increases revenue, brings about a more equitable distribution of water and helps to conserve precious -- and increasingly scarce -- water resources. The emphasis to date in water-loss reduction has been on the technical aspects.

“What has lagged behind are widely applicable solutions for financing related investments. The resources of international financial institutions are limited. This prize will stimulate thinking on how to increase the provision of needed financing,” said the prize’s manager, Chris Shugart. “In principle, these deals will be financeable: by cutting costs and raising revenue, well-planned investments to reduce NRW can pay for themselves over 7–10 years.”

One study estimates water losses at 27bn cubic metres annually in the urban areas of developing countries. Halving NRW losses in developing countries could generate $2.9bn in cash annually and service an additional 90mn people, without using new water resources[1].

Entries will be judged by a panel of experts seeking improved financing solutions that can be standardised, replicated and scaled up to serve the needs of many water utility companies.

“Financing for water infrastructure investment in developing economies has been hard to mobilise owing to lack of borrower creditworthiness and high risk,” said Tom Williams, Programmes Director at the International Water Association (IWA). "This prize should help incentivise and drive improvements and move utilities towards more efficient service delivery.”

The prize is part of the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) “Ideas to Impact” innovation inducement programme, which aims to resolve challenges in water and sanitation, climate change and energy access. Dreampipe is managed by a consortium led by the British-based consultancy IMC Worldwide. The launch is supported by the IWA.

Further information: The prize’s website, which includes additional information, background data and links, can be visited here For more on “Ideas to Impact,” visit  

Media Contact:  For further information on Dreampipe, contact Matthew Saltmarsh:, or +44(0)75780051763


[1] Kingdom, Liemberger & Marin 2006 ‘The Challenge of Reducing Non-Revenue Water in Developing Countries.’ (World Bank PPIAF)