Global water technology company, Xylem, today congratulated a team of hackathon participants that has come up with a new way to respond to abrupt flood events. Team Res-Queue won HackZurich 2021’s Xylem Water Challenge with their innovative solution to help people affected by dangerous flooding intensified by climate change.
Participants were asked to create an interactive platform where lifesaving information and updates can be accessed and shared within seconds by communities affected by flooding events. The winning team achieved this over a non-stop 40-hour hackathon event in Zurich, Switzerland. The Res-Queue team developed a decision support system that assigns danger levels to help rescue units optimize their response, using machine learning models based on real-time images and video.
“Our mission is to solve the world’s greatest water challenges, and the solutions are increasingly going to be digital,” said, Hayati Yarkadas, Xylem’s President for Europe. “The participants in our HackZurich water challenge are inspiring examples of a new generation of talent that is passionate about solving real-world problems and making the world more sustainable. As this years’ devastating floods across Europe showed us, we’re at a critical time for water, and we need all their passion and ingenuity.”
“Solving this flood management challenge is very important to us as it saves lives,” said Res-Queue team member Matan Levy. “What can be more important than that? Water is life – it saves lives, however, it can take lives as well.”
“It was really great to see participants use Esri tech to tackle natural threats and provide meaningful solutions to support decision making for flood incident response,” commented Arno Fiva 3D Developer Evangelist at the Zürich R&D Center of Esri, one of Xylem’s technology partners.
The United Nations predicts that, due to climate change, the number of people at risk of flooding will increase to 1.6 billion by 2050.
Xylem’s participation at HackZurich2021 is part of the Xylem Ignite program, a global initiative to build and empower a network of student leaders passionate about water solutions and driving change in the water industry. It has already engaged over 6600 students in learning about and solving water challenges.