December 9, 2019

Three Startups Are Changing the World One Drop of Water at a Time

It can be easy to take water for granted when you have it. But many do not. Nearly two billion people live in areas experiencing high water stress. Developing nations are often those most severely impacted by water issues, and solving those problems can change lives.

By focusing on technological solutions, these three startup companies are tackling water issues and saving lives.


This image is part of a case study on Utilis in Cologne, France: Satellite water loss scanning using the UTILIS method

Based in Israel and with an office in the U.S., Utilis has saved water in the more than 200 worldwide projects it has taken on. By using technology first dreamed up as a way to look for water on other planets, Utilis has been able to pinpoint leaks from old pipes throughout the world.

Leaks are a major drain on the freshwater resources on Earth, which is why applying technology to fix this problem is a smart solution.

More than 2800 leaks were discovered in 2018 by Utilis, resulting in excess of 200 million gallons of saved water per day.



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Sometimes people don’t care much about wasting water because they know much of the Earth’s surface is made up of it. It can seem that the world has plenty of water to spare, but the majority of our water — 97 percent — is saltwater, not fresh water.

That’s where startups like Desalitech come in. Like a technological magician, they change saltwater into fresh water. Desalitech does it by using a closed-circuit reverse osmosis water filtration system.

The system also allows Desalitech to make wastewater reusable. That means that water can be recycled and serve another purpose.


This startup has harvested more than 10 million gallons of rainwater that wouldn’t have otherwise been collected.

ThinkPhi is led by a team of engineers that are experienced in architecture, computer science, sustainable design, and electronics.

Their invention, called the Ulta Chaata, has also generated renewable energy — 1.7 million units so far — and serves as a source of shade. By collecting rainwater and using solar panels, these devices, which look like upsidedown umbrellas, can help the water crisis throughout the world.

Once the water is collected in the product’s canopy, it enters a filter that uses active carbon filtration. That takes out any impurities from the water, rendering it drinkable.

By the end of 2017, Ulta Chaatas were set up in more than 50 locations throughout India.

Another reason that these products are appealing is the price point. They carry warranties of 10 years, and ThinkPhi has stated that most users offset the cost of the unit in approximately one year from water and energy savings.

Solving Our Water Issues

With ingenuity and a passion for change and conservation, engineers and professionals will be protecting our water for generations to come. These three startups and others like it are paving the way for all of us to have a better future.

About the Author

Peter Gray is a writer, retired plumber, and DIY aficionado. Peter is passionate about water conservation and enjoys spending his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, go low-flow and reduce their water consumption.

Comments from the Community

1 Comment

  1. chuck says:

    Is there any effort in developed nations (like the US) to use rain water collection system to provide water to flush toilets instead of city water?

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