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December 15, 2019 1:17 pm

Through Hell or High Water: Five Startups Aiming to Save the Planet by Saving Water

avatar by Adi Pick / CTech

Sprinklers water the plantation fields near the southern Israeli city of Sderot, on Jan. 21, 2017. Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90.

CTech – While water is essential to all life, for many people around the world, access to clean drinking water is still a luxury they cannot afford. As of 2018, 785 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water, according to the United Nations’ water security organization WaterAid. According to the World Health Organization, every minute a newborn dies somewhere in the world from an infection affiliated with a lack of access to safe water.

From extracting safe drinking water out of thin, yet humid, air to turning rain into drinkable water, below are five Israeli startups trying to minimize the world’s water crisis.

WaterGen

Founded: 2009

Founders: Arye Kohavi, Avi Peretz

Based in Rishon LeZion in central Israel

Water-Gen develops atmospheric water generators (AWG) that are able to extract clean and safe drinking water from the naturally occurring humidity in the air. Watergen’s technology can be used to provide safe water to places suffering from water shortage or lacking water infrastructure. WaterGen’s devices can produce between 27 liters of water a day, for a home appliance and 6,000 liters for its large unit, according to company statements. The company also offers an emergency response vehicle, with an 800-liter daily capacity.

ToxSorb

Founded: 2007

Based in Kfar Giladi in northern Israel

ToxSorb designs and operates customized filtration systems engineered to remove certain chemical contaminants from wastewater, making it clean enough to drink. The company also cleans polluted water for industrial and agricultural purposes.

NUFiltration

Founded: 2011

Founder: Mino Negrin

Based in Caesarea, south of Haifa

NUFiltration manufactures and distributes water and wastewater treatment systems using medical filtration devices. The company’s technology is used in greenhouses to recycle drain water by removing pathogens, viruses, and other microbiological pollutants while leaving micronutrient levels unchanged. The company’s filtration systems, which function without electricity, can also be used to clean swimming pools.

WATA Solution

Founded: 2018

Founders: Muhanad Alkharaz, Bar Horowitz

Based in Jerusalem

WATA Solution’s technology uses sensors to provide households, water companies, and municipalities with real-time data on their water, including purity levels and remaining supply.

Hilico

Founded: 2016

Founders: Moshe Belilty, Eyal Yassky-Weiss

Based in Ramat Gan in central Israel

Hilico Off-Grid Solutions develops a portable lightweight rain-harvesting device designed to sustainably provide clean drinking water to off-grid communities and disaster-stricken areas. The company tested its prototype in 2017 in Mumbai, and signed its first commercial distribution agreement in Kenya earlier this year. The company’s device is not yet commercially available, but it is set to hit the market in 2020, the company’s co-founder Moshe Belilty said in a Wednesday interview with Calcalist.

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