Aqua for All supports a whole range of activities in developing countries – all aimed at providing the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) with access to safe, clean water and proper sanitation. Many of those activities focus on three thematic areas we call ‘Innovation tracks’. These focus areas are 3R, New Sanitation and Services for the BoP.
Innovation track 1 : 3R
We support sustainable water management for development purposes. This type of management revolves around ‘3R’ : recharging, retaining and re-using ground- and rainwater.
The concept of ‘3R’ stands for the methods of:
* recharging old water sources, by stimulating a process in which rain water moves downward from surface water to groundwater.
* retaining ground- and rain water, by storing that water in a variety of ways, depending on the local conditions and available (natural or artificial) materials.
* re-using or recycling available ground- and rainwater in times of need and scarcity.
3R’s sustainability involves structural impact on access to drinking water as well as mitigating (further) climate change attributable to changing water levels. Natural solutions and technical innovations are used to enable people in water-scarce regions to maximize the use of available water without damaging the environment. One example of such a technology is the use of wide hydrological units to store rainwater, which can then be used as drinking water for the community and as a tradable commodity.
Special 3R forum
Aqua for All was one of six founders of the 3R forum in 2005. The forum’s objective is to create new partnerships and collaborations to drive forward innovative technologies in the use of rainwater. Over the years, we have built up a powerful group of experts in this area of expertise. Aqua for All manages a part of the 3R secretariat, builds partnerships and searches for funding for promising initiatives. The organizations Acacia Water and Meta Meta offer field support and expertise.
* The 3R forum website
Do you have any questions or would you like to contribute to 3R? Contact Marlies Batterink, Aqua for All’s 3R Program Officer, via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)70 7200870
Innovation track 2 : New Sanitation
Aqua for all supports new ways to improve sanitation, a huge market (2.4 billion!) with enormous potential. We address the challenge of making, managing and maintaining sanitation services commercially interesting.
New Sanitation is an increasingly popular topic of interest – and is in fact becoming a movement of sorts. The challenge of finding innovative ways to fund, implement and scale-up sanitation services has recently caught the attention of major stakeholders like the World Bank, WSP, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Toilet Organization and Euromoney Water Events.
It is likely that more major stakeholders will follow, particularly the business sector, in collaboration with government bodies and NGOs. Company representatives are increasingly found attending large-scale summits and conferences to explore business opportunities with the attractive combination of financial and social return on investment. New sanitation is a challenging market in which great business opportunities await harvest, with revenues for the energy, the agriculture and the food sector.
Do you have any questions or would you like to contribute to New Sanitation? Contact Hester Foppen, Aqua for All’s New Sanitation Program Officer, via email@example.com or +31 (0)70 7200870
Innovation track 3 : Services for the BoP
Aqua for All supports the development of high-quality WASH technology that people in BoP communities can afford, obtain and maintain. Often, these services offer opportunities for income generation at the local level – sometimes even enabling small businesses to emerge.
We forge partnerships and create synergies that accelerate the development and distribution of technological solutions for water and sanitation challenges. These solutions are often innovative and have proven to be suitable and effective in local conditions – environmentally, socially and economically. The focus is usually at the household level. Think of services like decentralized water purification sets, water vending machines and household latrines.
One of the best rewards of our work is to help successful WASH solutions reach more people. We are driven in our dedication to increase the impact of smart solutions – in terms of both the amount of people reached and the effect on their lives. At Aqua for All, collaboration is never only about allocating funds or sharing technology. It is also about revealing business opportunities stemming from ‘the solution’ to local entrepreneurs and motivating them to embrace that opportunity as their own.
The idea is: if local entrepreneurs learn how to profit from WASH technology, for instance utilities providing safe water and sanitation, they’ll be more inclined to take care of the investment, develop the solution further and increase the number of people using it. The ‘300in6 initiative’ (a program in which Aqua for All participates) estimates that by supporting local entrepreneurs, it can double the 150 million people that otherwise would’ve been reached by WASH technology.
Aqua for All recently participated in a large-scale study of the international consultancy firm Hystra and the BoP Innovation Center. The study focuses on techniques for scaling up initiatives to reach more people, and on the roles and opportunities for governments, businesses and financial institutions in doing so. Aqua for All and the BoP Innovation Center have joined forces to further develop the study’s findings.
* The Hystra report Access to Safe Water for the BoP_
* The 300in6 website
Do you have any questions or would you like to contribute to Technology for the BoP? Contact Dick Bouman, Aqua For All’s Head of Project Office, via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 (0)70 7200870