Elemental Water Makers

First launched in 2012, Elemental Water Makers creates reverse osmosis systems that can turn seawater into drinking water using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and waves—using three times less energy than traditional desalination systems. Water-scarce islands and coastal region that are now forced to transport water (using trucks or boats), have water expenses in the order of 5-10 USD per 1,000 liters. Elemental Water Makers can provide water using unlimited resources of the sea and sun for a lower price: less than $2.5 USD for 1,000 liters of water. This enables communities and businesses to avoid high electricity costs while ensuring a higher water quality that is climate resilient: when power outages, natural disasters, or water shortages strike, Elemental Water Makers technology continues to provide clean, fresh, and reliable drinking water.


The Problem

Already today, more than 4 billion people face water shortages. Climate change is currently hitting those most vulnerable to this challenge the hardest, and nowhere is this more apparent than on islands. As rainfall decreases, aquafers that islands rely on become more and more saline. Yet the cost of advanced technologies like desalination plants is often prohibitive for these communities to obtain long-term solutions.


The Solution

Elemental Water Makers address this global challenge by utilizing renewable sources of energy from sun, wind, and waves to power more efficient reverse osmosis technology to turn seawater into drinking water. This technology enables plug & play, sustainably powered, and clean drinking water to be brought to communities, countries, and islands all around the world.


How it Works

Quality of the water, accessibility, production cost, and environmental impact have all been traditionally large hurdles to overcome when seeking fresh water sources, especially in remote island areas. These islands often have limited ground water that is becoming increasingly saline as rainfall decreases due to climate change; transporting water from afar can also be diesel intensive. Working with industries, municipalities, companies and communities, Elemental Water Makers can use its technology to produce anywhere from 1,000 to 1,000,000 liters per day for a range of customers, from small island resorts to communities of thousands.

Elemental Water Makers has several systems that work to turn salt water into drinking water via reverse osmosis powered by renewable energy. Utilizing battery storage, gravity assisted storage, or tying into a grid or generator, these systems can continue to operate independent of other electricity sources, reducing energy requirements by up to 75% and saving up to 70% on water expenses. By cutting electricity costs through use of renewable energy sources like the sea, sun, and wind, while using remote monitoring to deliver consistent water sources, fresh water can be easily and inexpensively accessed by any user of Elemental Water Makers systems.


Goals

Elemental Water Makers aspires to become the new industry standard when it comes to augmented water supply in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Already a winner of multiple international and national energy and innovation awards, they aspire to have more than 250 systems operational within the next 5 years, working in countries all over the world.


Impacts to Date

  • Active in more than 15 countries.
  • 25 systems operational.
  • Supplied 280 million liters of fresh water by the end of 2019.
  • 1,500 tons of Co2 avoided.
  • Average savings of 64% of water expenditure.

Challenges

Elemental Water Makers can produce water for costs that are four to five times lower than compared to other traditional systems. While the costs over time are lower, the start-up costs can be higher, which means obtaining initial capital investments is critical to ensuring this product is successful. Often times political and locational difficulties can create challenges in implementing the technology on site, given that many profit-seeking actors are reliant on the profits from current brittle water systems despite their risks for island communities. Finding local partners is necessary in ensuring that these systems can expand and provide reliable, safe drinking water for years to come.


What's Next

Within the year, Elemental Water Makers hopes to launch its next generation plug and play system, a containerized version of their reverse osmosis system standardized for self-installation. This involves commissioning local partners to be able to scale up the products faster, ensuring that the plug and play system can be deployed in emergency response, disaster relief, and wherever it is rapidly needed to be deployed as quickly as possible. Ultimately, the more people that can see and touch the system, and taste the water itself, the more people will believe in the technology to provide the water of the future—created with technology powered by nothing but sea, sun, wind, and a desire to drive climate resilience in islands around the world.


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