Xylem and Isle Utilities partner to help water utility pilot and scale innovative water technology

New funding source for trials of new technologies that reduce carbon emissions.

Xylem will be sponsoring an innovative new funding mechanism for water utilities to deploy promising new technologies. The partnership with water consultancy Isle Utilities is one such approach to funding and scaling breakthrough water technologies, called the “Trial Reservoir”. It provides water technology innovators access to capital for pilot projects, with an initial focus on technologies that reduce the carbon emissions of water systems. Technology trials and pilots are generally required in advance of full-scale implementations.

Sivan Zamir, head of Xylem Innovation Labs, said: “Innovation and new approaches to water management will be essential for cities and communities to solve their increasing water challenges and decrease their carbon footprint. This fund will help lower one of the biggest barriers to deploying and scaling breakthroughs innovations: the question of who pays for the trial. The fund, itself, is an important innovation. It’s a new approach to financing that lowers the economic risk of trying new technologies that can solve communities’ water challenges.”

The Trial Reservoir will make a pool of funding available to early-stage technology companies, giving them the capacity to undertake trial deployments with water utilities. The ‘reservoir’ of funding will be replenished from the proceeds of commercial contracts, when the trials move to full deployments. Xylem is a foundation sponsor of the initiative along with other water sector partners.

Dr Piers Clark, chairman of the Isle Group, added: “The Trial Reservoir brings together all the players needed to bring new technologies to market – utilities, investors, start-ups, non-profits. By removing financial uncertainty, partnerships between utilities and innovators can focus on solving a community’s water challenges and getting new water technologies proven in the marketplace.”

The Trial Reservoir is open to technology vendors around the world, actively supporting trials in high, medium and low-income countries. The only requirement is that the technology being tested must help reduce the carbon footprint of the water system, be that a municipal utility or an industrial or commercial water user.

The Trial Reservoir expects to fund its first utility pilot in Q1 2022.