Providing clean, safe drinking water to unserved communities
Around the world, more than 1.8 billion people will wake up tomorrow without access to clean, safe drinking water, making sanitation, cooking, education and business life a daily struggle. We helped Water Source Australia, a B-Corp start-up, develop an innovative decentralised water treatment facility that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) and circular economy principles to empower water providers and users with potable water. The facility cleans water at the community level, a process that could revolutionise the way water is delivered to millions around the world.
- Developed a transformational cloud-connected water treatment unit that uses IoT for analytics, treatment and maintenance
- Defined the business capabilities required to deliver the product and incorporated these into the platform design
- Devised a model to commercialise the product in less than two years, a rapid development timeframe for a product of this size and complexity
- Embedded circular economy principles at the core of the business to ensure its sustainability
Increasing access to safe drinking water
Expanding access to safe drinking water is key to creating a positive human future. Communities that lack access to drinking water suffer from poor sanitation and hygiene, contributing to individuals’ illness and death.
While consumers in high-growth economies may not regularly experience hardship obtaining water, aging infrastructure, industrial farming and extreme weather such as flooding can impact water safety and availability, negatively impacting communities over time.
Water Source is disrupting the way people get potable water by taking a community-based approach to access and distribution. Rather than accepting the conventional centralised model for sourcing and distributing water, the organisation is creating a decentralised system that can be installed in communities and operated remotely using a connected network and cloud services.
“The human right to water is indispensable to leading a life with dignity and creating economic opportunity for all. Our goal is to help communities around the world provide clean, clear drinking water to area residents that all can access safely,” says Mark Campbell, CEO, Water Source Australia.
Empowering communities with advanced technology
We helped Water Source create a water purification system that can change the way people around the world access safe drinking water. We brought together a diverse team from our Global Innovation and Technology Centre, which provided expertise in digital, business intelligence, material science, industrial design and engineering, product and system development and circular economy design. The team’s skills, combined with our subject-matter experts in the water industry, are helping to make Water Source’s vision a commercial reality.
The team carried out a regulatory and market scan; developed a business model, partnership opportunities and commercialisation roadmap; plotted customers’ user journeys; and built the full Water Source platform.
Working with Water Source, our team adopted an agile approach to co-create the IoT interface at pace. The unit will be commercialised in both high-growth and developing markets, beginning with Australia, which has some of the most stringent water quality standards in the world.
Building a positive human future
“PA’s vision, process and co-creation model made them the perfect partner,” says Mark Campbell. “PA immediately understood our vision to combine a for-profit enterprise with philanthropy, using advanced technology to empower local communities with access to drinking water when and where they need it.”
With this initiative, Water Source helps water providers use digital technologies to build a sustainable business. Water providers will be able to manage, monitor and control a network of water purification systems at the edge using the Water Source IoT-driven platform.
The unit will create potable water from any ‘grey water’ source at more than eight litres per minute and will be commercialised over the coming year in both high-growth and developing markets. It will democratise water access for the world’s populations, while providing valuable analytics on use, quality and maintenance needs that will improve its sustainability in any environment.