It seems to be everywhere - and for most people in North America and Europe, it is abundant, consistent, and often "free". But clean drinking water is also perhaps the most underappreciated achievement of a prosperous and modern nation.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease. That's roughly equal to the populations of Chicago, Illinois, and Fort Worth, Texas, combined. As tragic as that is, even worse is that over 80% of those deaths are children, and almost all of them are preventable.
The clean water that modern society takes for granted is not available to everyone, everywhere. In fact roughly 900 million people do not have access to safe water supplies, according to UNICEF/WHO. That's twice as many people as live in the USA, Mexico, and Canada....combined.
For those of us lucky enough to be blessed with the good fortune of seemingly unlimited supplies of clean water from a tap, it doesn't seem like much: just 13.2 gallons of fresh water per day for sanitation, cooking and bathing will keep a person alive, according to the Asian Development Bank.
The average North American uses about 90 gallons of water each day in outdoor uses such as watering lawns and washing cars.
Enertopia is proud to be able to help people around the world by providing water filtration systems powered by the Sun or the Wind, utilizing natural resources to help us live, and to live well.
Purified Water Anywhere - Powered by the Sun
Finding water is the easy part, even if that means digging or drilling to get access to water. More difficult is ensuring it is clean enough for human needs. In fact according to the WHO, more than 99% of the world's fresh water is NOT readily usable for human use.
Water often needs to be filtered and treated in order to remove contaminants, dangerous metals, and water-borne diseases such as cholera. Enertopia Corporation is part of an international consortium of companies that has come together to provide the world's most advanced total solution for delivering clean water wherever it is needed.
Enertopia has global marketing and sales rights (excluding only Iraq) to the Enertopia Renewable Water Purification System (ERWPS). This mobile or stationary system ingeniously uses either the sun's energy or wind power to provide the necessary energy to pump, filter and treat water to remove 99.99% of contaminants so that it is suitable for human use.
The ERWPS was proudly co-invented by our Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Mark Snyder, from whom we have acquired our rights. This system recycles and purifies either above-ground contaminated water sources, or traditional well-water sources, and turns them into clean drinking and bathing water.
The first-generation system was developed in 2009 and has been very well received by the market. A $17 million order for 325 of these trailer mounted units was already delivered to Iraq. This order is designed to provide clean water for over 600,000 Iraqis and is capable of purifying 1.8 million gallons of water per day.
The system can be deployed in any remote location and is designed to deliver basic water needs at a cost of about $0.03 per person per day over a 10-year design life. Utilizing solar PV technology, this system is perfect for remote locations in any sunny or windy area of the world. After delivery to its desired location, the system can be set up and operational in just one day.
Mining, Forestry, or Oil & Gas work sites
Remote housing, hotels, etc.
Municipalities needing water filtration upgrades or expansion
Remote communities in North America
Villages and communities in disadvantaged third-world locations
Every location that wants to use renewable energy
Everyone needs clean water. Even in the midst of the most advanced and thorough municipal and city water delivery systems in the world, North Americans will spend nearly $3 billion in 2012 on replacement filters and membranes for their retail domestic water filter systems. But those tap filters are just a tiny part of a much bigger story.
Mining, Forestry, Oil & Gas work sites or Hunting Lodges.
Remote work camps in the mining or forestry industries sometimes deliver clean bottled water to their workforces by helicopter or using long dirt roads, at great expense. Large amounts of diesel fuel or aviation fuels may be consumed to deliver the water to the final destination. Enertopia's water systems can be optimized to as small as about 70 gallons of clean water per hour of sunshine: perfect for hunting lodges or small work camps.
Remote Housing and Hotels.
Our bigger units will deliver 240 gallons (1,000 litres) of water per hour of sunshine. And our proactive design allows several or dozens of our units to be linked together to provide thousands of gallons per hours of filtered water if the application requires it. So camps with hundreds of employees, or small remote communities can ensure a safe supply of locally filtered water. This can result in significant cost savings if compared to transporting drinking water if from afar, not to mention the health benefits as compared to drinking local water that has not been purified.
Municipalities Repairing or Replacing Water Infrastructure.
Municipalities across North America and Europe are in many cases replacing crumbling antique infrastructures. Many American cities have water systems that are well over 100 years old: Milwaukee's Water Works was established in 1871. In New York City, the "New" Croton Aqueduct was placed in service in 1890 to replace the "Old" Croton Aqueduct that went into service in 1842. Across America, water delivery and filtration systems are in many cases nearing the end of their operable design lives, and are otherwise burdened trying to deliver clean water to larger populations than ever expected. Many of these systems need replacement or upgrades.
"Much of the drinking water infrastructure in the United States will need to be replaced in the next three decades. A large portion of water pipes will need to be replaced in the next 30 years. The cost estimates to replace the old pipes range from $280-$400 billion" (www.drinktap.org)
When billions and tens of billions of dollars are going to be spent to replace antique infrastructure, it makes sense to at least consider changing more than just the pipes. Maybe we can process and deliver water more efficiently than the ways we did it 100 years ago. Maybe more localized and less obtrusive solar powered water treatment plants to fit local communities are a more efficient and less costly option to at least be considered.
The EPA estimates that over $3 billion is spent annually on repairs and upgrades of existing drinking water infrastructure. US industrial demand for clean water technologies is expected to be a $20 billion market by 2012.
Poorly Served North American Communities
In May, 2000 residents of the town of Walkerton Ontario began to be mysteriously ill. Eventually half of the 5,000 residents became ill and there were several fatalities. The cause was ultimately traced back to a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria that entered the town's water supply from farm runoff into an adjacent water well.
There is almost unspeakable human tragedy involved in these events. Sadly, illness and death from unsafe drinking water is NOT just a problem in the Third World, where it is a daily event.
The subsequent Walkerton Commission estimated the financial costs at between $64 million and $155 million Canadian dollars. And it was entirely preventable with proper filtration and purification techniques.
There are many small North American communities, off the beaten track and forgotten by many, that currently have less than adequate water filtration and purification systems. The technology exists today to correct this oversight.
Poorly Served International Communities
Industry experts believe that by 2050, more than 4 billion people around the world will live in countries that are chronically short of water. Many cities, towns, and villages around the world lack sufficient supplies of clean water. Many areas of the world do not have the energy infrastructure needed to deliver electricity to all the locations needed to provide power to water filtration plants. In all these remote or poorly served communities, Enertopia's solar powered or wind powered water filtration systems are the answer.
Tens of billions of dollars are being spent on water infrastructure projects around the world. But beyond the monetary opportunities, there is a very real social and humanitarian price to be paid. At any given moment, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease. (United Nations Human Development Report, 2006.) And although the numbers are so large as to be staggering, 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease (World Health Organization, 2008. Safer Water, Better Health) and 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies. (Unicef/WHO, 2008. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation.)
An investment of US$11.3 billion per year is needed to meet the drinking water and sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals, yielding a total payback of US$84 billion per year. (World Health Organization, 2008. Safer Water, Better Health)
There are shortages of clean water in many areas of the world, often for different reasons. In Saudi Arabia a solar powered desalination plant is under construction located at King Abdulaziz City. Saudi Arabia already consumes 18% of the world's desalinated water.
Enertopia Corporation will make a remarkable pledge to help disaster victims anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately humankind will all be subject to forces outside of its control. Hurricanes; floods; landslides; earthquakes and more will always plague us. Time and again it has been proven that the first several days after natural disasters strike are the most crucial in the race to preserve human life. Sadly it is also the most challenging period during which to deliver aid due to damaged local infrastructure.
Enertopia's solar powered purified water units are the perfect response. They can filter contaminated water sources of many impurities helping to slow the spread of diseases. They can operate without any need for diesel fuel or other energy sources. And they are portable: they can be airlifted by helicopter to any otherwise unreachable location and set up for use in just one day.
Enertopia Corporation is proud not just to be able to offer its technology to the betterment of people everywhere, but it also backs up its words with actions: Our company stands ready to provide an emergency solar powered water purification unit anywhere in the world at zero profit margin. Our financial resources are not strong enough to be able to donate our products; but we are happy to help disaster victims anywhere by always providing a unit with no profit whatsoever back to Enertopia. Contact our President or Chief Executive Officer for more information.
Renewable Energy Powers All Our Systems
Enertopia is working towards the vision of a world that is self-sustainable in all its energy needs by 2020. We are doing our part to make that happen, so all our water purification systems are powered by renewable energy. ...turns out this is a smart business decision, too....
It's relatively easy to purify water if you are connected to the power grid, or by burning diesel or natural gas to power the equipment. But does it really make sense to clean one segment of our environment by making another segment dirtier? Even though it is technically more difficult, Enertopia believes that filtered drinking water that is produced by solar energy or wind energy is ultimately the better choice.
Once some of the technical complexities are out of the way - and we have some of the brightest minds in the world who just love to solve those complexities - it turns out that our clean-energy filtration systems have some huge strategic advantages. First and foremost, because we are NOT tied to a power grid, our purification systems can work virtually anywhere. Because they do not consume diesel or propane, they do not require regular fuel deliveries. The cost of running our systems is very, very low because only filtration media and regular equipment upkeep is required.
Rather than build expensive and cumbersome water delivery systems, we deliver the purification equipment to where you need it. We deliver clean water and we do NOT create dirty air to do it!
Finally, we are also exploring with our partners the possibility of utilizing "mega watershed" theory which has already proven that up to one hundred times the quantity of clean water is available in underground systems than previously known. Several of these mega watershed water wells are producing at rates of over 1,000,000 gallons per day - quantities high enough to not only meet domestic water needs, but also sufficient to provide irrigation in otherwise arid regions. We are in the R&D stage as to our involvement with mega watershed theory.