We are looking for the most groundbreaking solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean working on water, sanitation and solid waste.


Do you have a water, sanitation or solid waste startup, solution, product, initiative or service that is improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean? If so, we are looking for you! Apply now to participate in the IDB-FEMSA Award. Selected finalists will join us in Buenos Aires for the award ceremony, which will take place in November during the IWA 2017 Congress.

The award aims to highlight innovative startups, solutions, products and initiatives in water, sanitation, and solid waste.

The jury will select up to 8 finalists who will travel to Buenos Aires for a final round of competition where they will have the chance to pitch their solutions to the jury in front of a live audience, composed by water, sanitation and solid waste management experts from all over the world.

The winners will receive a monetary prize and a special recognition from the Latin American Artist, Gerardo Azcúnaga.


Since 2009, the Inter-American Development Bank and FEMSA Foundation have granted the Water and Sanitation Award for Latin America and the Caribbean, in order to recognize innovative solutions in the water, sanitation and solid waste sectors.

In this edition, three prizes will be awarded to startups, solutions, products, initiatives or services in Latin America and the Caribbean, as follows:
1st prize: 15 000 USD
Special recognition from the Latin American Artist, Gerardo Azcúnaga
2nd prize: 10 000 USD
3rd prize: 5000 USD



Startup representative must be a citizen and resident of an IDB borrowing member country.
Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
Applicant must be the founder or co-founder of the organization.
The organization must have at least six months and no more than three years since being established and it should be legally registered.
Applicant must operate in an IDB borrowing member country
Applications must be submitted through this website.
Applications must be submitted in any of the four official languages of the IDB (Spanish, French, English or Portuguese)
Applicant organization must have a solution or product already (not an idea), or at least a minimum viable product with users already testing it.
The organization startup must be ready to raise funds to go onto a new level of growth and impact.
A video pitch of no more than 2 minutes is required. The video must show all team members of the organization in front of the camera. The video must be custom made for this call. It must be uploaded to Youtube, as part of the application (no password protection please).

The video must answer the following questions:
Along with the application, 2 letters of recommendation must be submitted:
The deadline to submit applications is September 12th, 2017 11:59 PM EST. will be no extensions.


The finalist come from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Chile, and were selected among 50 proposals. On November 14, in Buenos Aires, they will have the opportunity to present their innovation in front of a jury composed by experts in water, sanitation, business and innovation.

These are the seven finalists:

Fluid. Brazil

Fluid is an artificial intelligence system that utilizes sensors attached to the hydrometers to detect spills in the pipes on the water distribution networks.

Ekofil. Colombia

The clay Ekofil filter is a portable unit, easy to install and to maintain. It grants access to clean and safe water from sources of dubious quality.

DryMix. Peru

DryMix is a dry toilet that separates the fecal matter from the urine at the source, so the fecal sludge can be disposed of in a safe and sustainable way. The toilet accelerates the process of stabilization and decomposition of the fecal matter.

Signage for industrial facilities. Chile

The solution utilizes security and signage products for industrial plants produced from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, mainly plastics, HDE, PET, wood and others.

Greywater purifier. Mexico

It is a filter that removes detergent from water using solar power. The filter heats the water at high temperature at which soap and other detergents are dissolved. It is an economical and smaller size purifier than most alternatives already in the market.

WaterAir. Peru

WaterAir is a piece of equipment that produces water from the air through an innovative refrigeration system. The equipment utilizes clean and affordable energy, which makes it accessible to low income communities.

Eco-Active. Colombia

Eco-Active is an organic catalyzer that utilizes highly accelerated bases to decompose polluting organic matter in natural water ways.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

We work to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality, we help improve health and education, and advance infrastructure. Our aim is to achieve development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. With a history dating back to 1959, today we are the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. We provide loans, grants, and technical assistance; and we conduct extensive research. We maintain a strong commitment to achieving measurable results and the highest standards of increased integrity, transparency, and accountability.
FEMSA Foundation is an instrument that furthers social investments to contribute to corporate sustainability in its social and environmental dimensions.

Its WATER area channels resources to projects focused in the protection water sources and promoting an efficient use the resource, as well as hygiene and sanitation practices not only today, but for future generations. It is divided into three Programs: Watershed Conservation, Water and Sanitation, and Capacity Building and Applied Research. Its EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT area is dedicated to supporting projects focused on helping children from 0 to 5 years of age, especially those who face adversity, to achieve their full development potential and transform their communities. To know more visit and follow our social media channels (@FundacionFEMSA y

The Under-Secretariat of Water Resources oversees the National Bureau of Water Policy, which is in charge of planning and executing national water policy, supervising compliance and coordinating plans, programs and projects related to water resources, and the National Bureau of Water Resources Administration, which is essentially responsible for proposing and executing policies, programs and projects related to public water works.

Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos S.A. (AySA) is the National Water and Sanitation utility of Argentina and works with ACUMAR on implementation of water projects within their concessions of Buenos Aires and 24 adjacent jurisdictions in the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area, one of the most densely popultated regions in the world