Youth Innovation Challenge

Water Solutions for Sustainable Development

Submission deadline: April 3, 2023

The 2023 Youth Innovation Challenge, hosted by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, invites North American youth, ages 18 to 30, to propose innovative solutions that address and respond to critical issues related to water.

This year’s challenge, with the theme of Water Solutions for Sustainable Development, encourages dynamic and creative young leaders to participate in actions, innovation, and transformation on issues relating to water.

North American youth are invited to submit their solutions and compete for up to C$15,000 per country in seed funding, a chance to present their solutions to North America’s top environmental officials, and access to mentorship and networking opportunities.

Read Guidelines

Water Solutions for Sustainable Development


  • Participants in the CEC Youth Innovation Challenge must be at least 18 and no more than 30 years old on the date they upload their solution to the Submittable platform.
  • Participants must be residents of Canada, Mexico, or the United States.
  • Participants must demonstrate that their innovative solution seeks to address local, regional, or transboundary water issues

Possible Solutions

Considering the broad scope of water challenges faced in North America, the CEC encourages the submission of solutions that address one or more of the following aspects:

  • An increase in the frequency of droughts, deforestation, forest fires, and floods
  • Changes in climate
  • Release of toxic chemicals into surface waters
  • Litter and leakage of plastics, nutrients, and emerging pollutants into the water supply
  • The depletion of groundwater

Priority will be given to solutions that tackle water challenges from an entrepreneurship perspective and with a focus on equity, particularly from social and economic standpoints. Solutions should preferably consider Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and identify the number of community members or organizations who will benefit from the solution.

Submit your solutions before the challenge deadline on 3 April 2023.