Revolutionizing Desalination for Global Water Use

$119 Million

Prize Purse

XPRIZE Water Scarcity is a $119 million, 5-year global competition designed to drive widespread access to clean water by creating reliable, sustainable, and affordable seawater desalination systems.


XPRIZE Water Scarcity is made possible by the generous support of our title sponsor, the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative.


80% of the global population suffers from serious threats to water supply, and by 2030, we will lack 40% of the water needed to meet global needs. Traditional desalination methods are unaffordable to low- to medium-income countries, face increasing threats to operations from pollution and climate change, and drive negative environmental impacts, making them an unsustainable solution to mitigating water scarcity.


XPRIZE Water Scarcity will generate novel seawater desalination technologies that will be reliable, affordable, and sustainable, increasing access to clean water.


If this prize is successful, it will significantly help reduce the risk of water scarcity and help alleviate water stress worldwide, while protecting the environment. New, reliable, cost effective, and sustainable desalination solutions will allow widespread access to clean water. Utilizing seawater desalination technology, allowing us to access more than 96% of Earth's water resources year-round will help drive a world where clean water is equitably and sustainably abundant, enabling people and the environment to prosper.

The Competition

XPRIZE Water Scarcity is set to revolutionize desalination - reimagining systems, methods, and materials to drive its scalable and sustainable use. We encourage global innovators from various fields to identify solutions to effectively disrupt this industry.

The winning teams will create new desalination solutions to enable future-proof water supply for communities and ecosystems. These solutions must be scalable, cost-effective, reliable, and resilient in a changing climate. They should demonstrate enhanced environmental sustainability across energy and materials and minimize harm to marine life. ​​For detailed competition guidelines and entry requirements, please refer to the Guidelines.

Get Involved

Let’s rethink our approach to water access to create a more sustainable future. Email us at [email protected] with any questions, or submit the form below to get involved.

Prize Activity

Advisory Board