Around 20 million people in Bangladesh are drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic poisoning kills around 43,000 Bangladeshis every year, and the issue adversely affects the poor.

The arsenic contamination is naturally occurring, and it wasn’t realised this was an issue in the 1970s when the Government of Bangladesh constructed millions of tube wells across the country.

The United Nation’s World Health Organisation calls this ‘the largest mass poisoning of a population in history’.

Long-term exposure to arsenic-contaminated drinking water is linked to cancers of the liver, kidney, bladder and skin as well as heart disease and neurotoxicity.

The situation is exacerbated by further contamination of Bangladesh’s water system by noxious dyes from the country’s booming textile industry and agricultural pesticides, too.

The result is that many people across the country are resorting to buying water at exorbitant prices.

Our CAFE filter and social enterprise model will, therefore, have a significant positive impact in Bangladesh.

Brazil has around one-fifth of the world’s water reserves according to the World Bank, but that doesn’t mean the country is managing its supplies in a sustainable manner. As a rapidly developing middle-income country, Brazil has a vast population and industrial base to match – but much of its industry is dependent on water. For example, the country is the second largest exporter of food in the world, and agriculture needs a lot of water!

Land-use changes, deforestation, water pollution, population growth, and large swathes of rural areas mean that managing water infrastructures and ensuring quality is very difficult.

We will be working in conjunction with a number of Brazilian and British partners on a pilot project that will analyse how best to deliver clean and safe drinking water.

Kenya has a population of ca. 46million and almost half of its population (41%) have to use ‘unimproved’ water sources such as ponds and unprotected wells (have a look at this link from the WHO if you want to find out more about their definitions of improved and unimproved water sources and sanitation facilities).

The lack of clean and safe and affordable drinking water is acutely felt by the poorest people in the country, many of whom live in rural areas and slum areas of cities.

We will be working with a community group that we have connections with to test our social enterprise model and its effectiveness in delivering long-term wholesome water.

India is the second most populous countries in the world – it has over 1.3 billion people! And although there is a lot of wealth there is also a lot of extreme poverty. Couple this with naturally-occurring arsenic in the groundwater, huge levels of industrial and agricultural pollution, population growth, poor sanitation and waste management, and an increasing demand for water there is a perfect storm for a water crisis on a huge scale.

We are working with partners in the Ganges region of India to pilot our CAFE filter and social enterprise model to see if Clean Water Wave can have a long-lasting impact for communities across India.

You might not think of Scotland as a country that needs our technology, but over 150,000 people in Scotland rely on a private water supply. The reliance on springs, lochs, and rivers in rural areas across Scotland means the potential for exposure to E. coli and other bacteria, as well as metals, in drinking water supplies.

In addition to removing metals and bacteria from water, we are also interested to see if our technology can remove pharmaceutical chemicals and other toxic substances that cause numerous health problems, including endocrine disruption.