According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. California has frequently experienced spells of drought and the current mild, dry winter is arousing fears of a possible return to a period of low rainfall. The Golden State is therefore making every effort to save water. Not a moment too soon then is the advent of a number of startups focusing on developing new technologies in the field of water. Only just last year a startup accelerator called Pipeline H2O was founded in the US city of Cincinnati for the specific purpose of fostering WaterTech companies. Pipeline is on the lookout for solutions relating to infrastructure management, the recycling and re-use of waste water, monitoring systems, plus also smart meters and other innovations on the consumer side. A batch of seven startups embarked on the 2018 accelerator program just a few weeks ago. One of these is Folia Water. This young San Francisco-based company, which has also been through the 500 startups incubation program, has designed a low-cost paper filter capable of killing microbes so as to render water in developing countries drinkable for human beings. Meanwhile, Maine-based Cerahelix designs and manufactures recyclable ceramic picofiltration products that purify waste water via a process that is more energy-efficient than the traditional solutions. Another startup in the pipeline is Californian firm DropWater, which is focusing on the packaging of drinking water. The company, whose philosophy is that water packaging should be manufactured and used in a planet-friendly manner, has set out to provide an alternative to the plastic bottles that are proving so harmful to the environment. All these innovations, which complement the water-related solutions already developed by Closca and Lishtot, would appear to have a vital role to play going forward. They not only help people to save water but have the potential to make people realise that every small effort in this direction counts.
By Sophia Qadiri