Desolenator - solar desalination. Sustainable Water independence, just add sea and sun
The Desolenator is a patented solar desalination technology that is able to purify water from any source (sea water, contaminated).
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Kenya: Lake Turkana
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
We are working to sustainably address the global water crisis by providing a distributed purification technology which can deal with:
1) Fresh water contamination: Desolenator is able to remove 99.99% of contaminants including heavy metals such as Arsenic and Lead.
2) 98% of our water is saline residing in our seas: Desolenator is able to tap into this vast resource through sustainable desalination using only solar power
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Desolenator is a patented desalination technology that uses just sunlight to purify water from ANY source (seawater, brackish, contaminated) into 100% clean drinking water. The device does not require disposable components such pre-treatment chemicals, membranes or filters and its robust design is built to last up to 15 years. The technology is able to scale in a modular fashion providing households or entire communities with distributed off-grid water purification.
In our project in Lake Turkana (Kenya), the Desolenator removes both high levels of salt and poisonous quantities of fluoride from the water sources of remote lakeside communities. In tandem with the technology, micro-entreprenurial models are being trailed. An entrepreneur is able to own, co-own or lease the device and end consumers pay per litre at a cost of less than 1c$/L.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Safe and accessible water underpins all development efforts and is critical to the success of any social initiative. The proposed project will lead to improved health, quality of life and
act as a catalyser to local economic activity and productivity. Desolenator rigorously collects and monitors:
1) Social impact metrics: Education (increase in girls school attendance), socio-economic improvements (household income, productivity), health (decrease in water-born diseases)
2) Environmental metrics: reduction plastic bottles usage, carbon reduction in eliminating demand for water truck
Desolenator also applies rural appraisal techniques, including interviews, community resource maps, seasonal calendars, focus groups and observations, to gather qualitative information that is hard to be captured by questionnaires.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Desolenator is a social enterprise with a revenue-growth driven roll out sequence; Developed countries, Developing countries and Humanitarian. This has enabled the development of a product portfolio tailored to user cases, geographies and business models. Desolenator’s scaling strategy is built on direct sales through global distributor account management.
To date received 1.5 million usd in grant money for product dev and humanitarian pilots.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Desolenator is the only at source purification technology that can purify any water with 100% solar
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
2/3 of our planet is covered with water yet we are facing a global water crisis. This is because 98% of our earth's water is saline and undrinkable - it makes up our seas and oceans. If we are to support ourselves in the future we must desalinate. However, current desalination processes are expensive and incredibly energy intensive. Desolenator was created to provide an off-grid, sustainable alternative, a solution that is affordable to both the rich and poor. Desolenator was founded on the principle that any water source - whether it is the Pacific Ocean or a contaminated well - can become a source of drinking water, providing even the most remote of communities with water independence.
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