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10 liters of clean and clear water for 1 Rupee ($0.015).

One step process that'll give you drinking water in 30 minutes without any maintenance.

Photo of Joe
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The process is very simple and takes care of bacteria, protozoa and viruses as well as reducing heavy metals like arsenic while clearing any turbidity.  

You take a bucket filled with 10 liters of water, drop the powder in using the provided spoon and then stir for 30 seconds.  If you want you can give another 30 second stir after about 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes later you can drink the water.  The amount of water purified in 30 minutes only depends on the size of the bucket so there's nothing stopping someone purifying 50 liters of water in the same time-frame.

The dosage is low enough that even if you add more powder or forget and double dose there won't be health issues whatsoever.  Each of the the powders that go int othe mixture have already been tested in their various markets and I've just brought them together.

I conducted a small trial (15 homes) when this was a 2 step process and the feedback was very positive.  Since then I've modified the process to only be 1 step.

It could also be done in a way where a local entrepreneur collects a lot of water, cleans it using the powder and the customers can either collect it from that person or the water could be delivered.  This could remove the issue where people have to walk miles to get their water.  For the convenience there would be a small premium you would pay for this facility which will pay the salary of the entrepreneur.  The water has disinfection properties for 24 hours so there won't be contamination issues when it's moved from container to container.  This could also be seen as an advantage as you wouldn't have to sell the product at a household level. 

How would you describe the stage of development of your idea?

  • Ready for piloting

How big or scalable is the potential of your idea?

Enough mixture can be produced to reach millions of households within a 2 month period as long as distribution is in place and with so many people not having access to clean water there is always potential for this to be big.

Explain the sustainability aspect of your idea

The price of the powder is cheap enough that a household can spend 100 rupees for 1000 liters and have access to clean water for a couple of months and then spend another 100 rupees. There really won't be any need for them to get a loan and even if that is too much then you can simply produce a version which'll last a month for 30 rupees. With regards to support, there really doesn't need to be any. There's nothing to break or maintain and after the person knows what they're doing there is really nothing else that can be done.

What types of financing would be required for your idea to be successful?

This is something I'm still now sure about. I would think that a combination of government financing as well as foundations and even low interest loans would be helpful. The money would initially be needed to order the product and you can recuperate the money after the product has been sold. If private investment is used a small return on investment could be given.

If you are proposing to partner with other organizations, please explain their role and reason for partnership.

I would love to partner with people and organisations (such as NGOs) that can help with sales and distribute the product to the people that need it.

In-country experience

  • Yes, for one year or less

If you have been operating in India, what has been your focus?

The main and only focus has been the testing of the product. I have also tested the product in Sri-Lanka.

Is your organization currently legally registered in India?

  • No

What states or districts will you target/are you targeting within India?

All states can be a target for this product. You could potentially also sell this to families in urban areas who still boil their drinking water. Everyone from a family in a small rural village to a family living in an urban slum is a potential customer who can be helped.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have a background in engineering and even though I have a job now I feel like doing something that will make another person's life better is an honourable way to make a living. I have a number of ideas that I've been working on during my spare time and I thought that this challenge was a good way to submit one of them.

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Photo of Christopher
Team

Hey Joe,

I like the idea, although I am not sure if it is that easy. How does this chemical process work? What are long term risks regarding the powder? How can you create awareness and acceptance to make the villagers use the powder? What about overdosing?

Photo of Joe
Team

Hi there,
As I mentioned in one of my previous replies, the main two components are a mixture which flocculates the water and an oxidiser.

Even if someone constantly doubles the dose of the powder for an extended period of time the remnants of the process are below the safe levels as set by the US EPA. This would be difficult as I have a spoon which'll provide the exact dose for 10 liters of water in one go and even if the volume of water is less that 10 liters because of the low effective dose it won't be an issue.

As for awareness, I'm not really sure about this but I would think that explaining to them that using this powder will improve their health and maybe even reduce spending on medicine would be something they would be interested in.

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