Sujol brings good water
Introducing Voltea CapD-I technology to eliminate arsenic from water supply
Three test locations will for the first time assess the viability of Voltea CapD-I technology as a sustainable solution to contaminated water, for impoverished communities in Bangladesh. Developed by Voltea, a Unilever Ventures company, CapD-I is an innovative, low energy, non-chemical breakthrough that can treat arsenic contaminated water in an affordable and effective way. The testing will span a period of 18 months.
Sujol is an ambitious social enterprise that aims to identify, develop and support micro drinking water businesses owned and operated by local entrepreneurs that provide affordable drinking water to their communities. Our focus is on the rural and peri-urban areas of Bangladesh where there are serious arsenic contamination and salinity problems with existing tube wells.
Project success will result in an appropriate design adapted to work in the local market, and a sound understanding of the possible entrepreneur-based business models needed to introduce the technology on a larger scale.
Who will benefit?
- 3 water systems
- 30000 people affected
- 10 years duration
Project in depth
Water and sanitation Category: Water
For the first phase of field tests in Bangladesh the village of Kalaroa was selected as the first out of three site locations. The village comprises of 400 households totalling about 2000 inhabitants. Two wells are located in the area, providing people with water. The water is contaminated with arsenic and also tastes salty.
At the end of 2012 two new plants were installed in Kakshiali and Sanka, both in Satkhira district.
The previous phase (Phase 0) of this project identified an innovative, low energy, non chemical, proven technology that is able to treat arsenic contaminated brackish water in an affordable and effective way. Voltea, a company of Unilever Ventures, develops this technology, called CapD-I. It also confirmed the willingness and ability of the Bangladeshi poor to pay for clean and safe drinking water.
The current phase (Phase 1 starting in May 2011) undertakes testing the technology in the Bangladeshi market. This will span a period of 18 months comprising three testing units operating on three different pilot locations in a carefully managed stage-gated project.
Following Phase 1 we will have a better understanding of the appropriate design fully adaptable to work in the local market as well as a better understanding of the possible entrepreneur based business models needed to introduce the FTC technology on a larger scale.
A successful Phase 1 will lead to Phase 2. This will test the sustainability and profitability of the proposed business model for micro enterprises in the field and deliver a final business plan, partner contracts on finance and operations, a functioning and staffed local organisation acting as a franchise organisation - along with 10-15 micro water businesses.
Milestones Proof of Concept phase (Phase 1) of the Sujol Project:
MILESTONE PARTNER DEADLINE
T1 First manual DAM May 2011
T2 Installation I up and running DAM September 2011
T3 First test results installation I DAM September 2011
T4 Final manuals DAM December 2011
T5 Installations II and III up and running DAM December 2011
T6 First test results installations II and III DAM December 2011
T7 Long term testing machines I, II, and III DAM Jan – June 2012
T7 Final test reports DAM June 2012
B1 Stakeholder analysis ProPortion Sept – Oct 2011
B2 Local End-user investigation ProPortion Jan – Feb 2012
B3 Financial analysis MWF Sept ‘11/Feb ‘12
C1 Share info on Akvopedia All Jun, Sept, Dec 2011
Mar, Jun 2012
C2 Develop Akvopedia article Akvo August 2011
C3 Branding ProPortion September 2011
C4 Newsletters ProPortion Oct 2011
Feb, Jul, Sept 2012
C5 First stakeholder meeting (Dhaka) All October 2011
C6 Second stakeholder meeting (Dhaka) All January 2012
C7 Third stakeholder meeting (Netherlands) All July 2012
R1 Contracts signed All July 2011
R2 Distribution of subsidies EMF End of each quarter
R3 Report status All (exc Akvo) Every 3 months
R4 Report status Akvo Every 6 months
R5 Report to Partners for Water EMF 31 December 2011
R6 Report to Partners for Water EMF End of Sujol Phase 1
The objective is to improve access to clean drinking water in Bangladesh. The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water aim to reduce the number of people lacking sufficient access to clean drinking water in 2000 by half in 2015.
Reaching the approximately 50 million people exposed in Bangladesh will substantially contribute to achieving the MDGs for access to clean drinking water, in the order of magnitude of 10%.
Not only do we want to improve access to safe drinking water but also create an opportunity for Bangladesh's poor to earn a living independent of charity aid. We hope to establish up to 30,000 financially independent micro water businesses in Bangladesh in the next ten years.
- Test the Voltea CapD-I technology in the field
- Gain accreditation by the Government of Bangladesh
- Revise the business plan on basis of final field reports
- Complete an investment proposal for Phase 2
- Form a committed consortium to run a commercial pilot
This project is managed by the Ecological Management Foundation (EMF) in the Netherlands and involves several other partners. EMF has a large track record of 20 years incubating and accelerating smart water solutions to the poor.
At the end of 2010 EMF succeeded to commit all donors on the budgets needed to start phase 1 of Sujol (at the time referred to internally as "The Bangladesh Project"). Phase 1 starting in January 2011 undertakes testing the technology in the Bangladeshi market. This will span a period of 18 months comprising three testing units operating on four different pilot locations in a carefully managed stage-gated project. Planning and preparations of activities, especially regarding the operations (DAM) and preparing the delivery of equipment (Voltea) took more time than expected (+4 months). The project will start third week of May when the DAM engineers will follow a 1 week training at Voltea’s premises.
We will provide 30,000 villages clean and safe drinking water in the next 10 years. We believe the solution we provide will prove itself as the most affordable, reliable and energy efficient technique to eliminate Arseen and make the water taste sweet.
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The interesting thing is this. Existing techniques press the clean water out of the dirt, the CAP DI gets the dirt out of the water. This works more efficiently, saves energy!
Frederik Claasen, 2011-08-22 10:41
Akvo Ref: 276