Computer coders and noncoders alike in Los Angeles will begin taking part Friday night in a 48-hour “hackathon” aimed at developing technology solutions for saving water and beating the drought.

Challenge:LA hackathon. Photo via
Challenge:LA hackathon. Photo via
Water! Hack is the third in a series of summer civic hackathons organized by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and local techies. It follows earlier round-the-clock sessions focused on the issue of immigration and civic engagement.

The drought-focused hacking event will take place at the downtown offices of rhubarb studios and run until Sunday. The event is also being streamed live at

The ideas and prototypes generated at these hackathon sessions can be submitted to the Challenge:LA competition, in which winners will be awarded a stint in a four-month “accelerator” program, where they can get funding, mentorship and other resources to produce a working prototype of their idea.

The competition is open to all creators, not just those who took part in this summer’s hackathons, according to Civic Innovation Lab Director Kat Karimi.

“We know that to get real traction with civic tech solutions, we need a facilitated process that involves engagement with end users and testing over time,” Civic Innovation Lab co-founder Elizabeth Stewart said of the competition.

“While hackathons can jumpstart the process that leads to lasting solutions, we aim to create civic infrastructure that brings expert citizens, the tech community, and government together in a process to yield measurable civic and social impact,” she said.

The Civic Innovation Lab and the Mayor’s Office will be judging the submissions, which are due Sept. 20. Winners will be announced at the #techLA conference on Oct. 10.

Submissions can be made at

— City News Service

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