Program to identify, implement water innovations in food, agriculture sector

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FRESNO, CA, May 2, 2013 -- Imagine H2O, an organization that inspires and empowers people to turn water challenges into opportunities, announced the launch of its Food and Agriculture Program at the BlueTechValley Conference in Clovis, Calif. This new program will identify and support promising water innovations while providing the program's top participants with pilot introductions to leading food businesses in California's Central Valley.

"This program will advance innovations in how we use, supply and treat water to improve our food system," explains Imagine H2O's Chief Operating Officer, Scott Bryan. "Catalyzing entrepreneurial water innovations is an essential step toward securing future food supply in a water-constrained world."

The BlueTechValley, an Imagine H2O Accelerator Hub Partner, will introduce the competition's top companies to a select group of pilot partners for the purpose of establishing demonstration programs at commercial food facilities. "All too often, emerging water businesses struggle to secure pilot demonstrations to prove their innovations," explains BlueTechValley Chairman Henrik Skov Laursen. "For promising startups, this will be a world-class opportunity to work in-partnership with leading commercial growers and food processors."

A 2012 UN World Water Assessment Program survey indicates that agriculture currently accounts for more than 70 percent of global water usage. Thus, the connection between water resource management and food production is paramount. According to Global Water Intelligence, the Food and Beverage industry's annual capital expense on water technologies is expected to grow from $3.3 billion in 2011 to over $6 billion by 2020. This promising opportunity for innovative water businesses is evidenced by the success of former Imagine H2O winners and finalists including Fruition Sciences, mOasis, BlackGold Biofuels and FOGbusters.

About the Food & Agriculture Competition and Accelerator

Imagine H2O's 5th annual program will be open to entries in October with the winners announced in March 2014, at which time the top companies will present their innovations to the program's pilot partners. Wells Fargo, Imagine H2O's Headline Sponsor, will be joined by the organization's philanthropic supporters and other corporate sponsors to support the program. Information about the upcoming competition and additional sponsors will be available at www.imagineh2o.org.

About Imagine H2O

Imagine H2O inspires and empowers people to solve water challenges and turn them into opportunities. Our annual programs identify promising water entrepreneurs and startups with innovative solutions to water challenges. Previous programs include Water Efficiency (2009), the Water-Energy Nexus (2010), Wastewater (2011) and Consumer Innovations (2012). In addition to awarding cash prizes for the best business plans, Imagine H2O's Accelerator program supports the winning entrepreneurs as they turn their ideas into transformational solutions. To learn more about Imagine H2O's global ecosystem for water innovation and connect with water innovators from around the world, please visit www.imagineh2o.org.

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