Through Hell or High Water: Five start-ups aiming to save the planet by saving water

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 organisation WaterAid. According to the World Health Organisation, every minute a new-born 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 start-ups trying to minimise the world’s water crisis.

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 litres of water a day, for a home appliance and 6,000 litres for its large unit, according to company statements. The company also offers an emergency response vehicle, with an 800-liter daily capacity.

Founded: 2007
Based in Kfar Giladi in northern Israel
ToxSorb designs and operates customised 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.

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.

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.