Dreampipe Challenge

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The Dreampipe challenge aims to stimulate financial innovation so as to help water utilities in developing countries mobilise funds for Non Revenue Water (NRW) reduction activities.

The challenge includes a series of prizes that will reward financing mechanisms that enable water companies in developing countries to undertake what is needed for implementing non-revenue water reduction and control activities. The challenge does not seek to incentivise the development of new technical solutions for reducing NRW, as it is assumed that these technical solutions are already well developed, well known or that adequate levels of research is going on to develop them further.

Dreampipe is open to applicants from around the world. The challenge is targeted at utility experts, financial experts and transaction advisors who may or may not have prior experience in the water sector. Proposed solutions will have to be applicable in one (or several) of the 28 DFID countries.


NRW refers to the difference between the amount of water put into the water piped system and the amount of water billed to customers. This difference is due to physical water losses, from burst and unrepaired pipes or from overflow at storage tanks, and commercial water losses, due to incorrect or lack of billing and unauthorised water consumption. NRW affects all water utilities but is particularly high in many utilities in the developing world. 


Applicants will be invited to submit a brief concept note based on an application form that will set out their proposals for innovative financial arrangements to help water companies in developing countries undertake the investment needed for implementing non-revenue water reduction-and-control activities. This stage will be open for application for 10 weeks from prize launch. Awards will be given for the best innovative concepts for financial and contractual arrangements for NRW reduction. Judges will assess the applications based on a set of criteria reflecting the objectives of the challenge.


This stage will probably last 18 months and will reward the best fully developed scheme ready for implementation in a specified water company. The exact requirements and judging criteria for that round will be defined once the applications for Stage One have been received. 

These are likely to include that all funders have been identified, that contractual arrangements have been drafted or are already in operation. The exact details on Stage Two are subject to change and modification from the feedback on Stage One.