Innovation That Matters

The unYo is designed to provide clean water for small, rural communities, and can later be integrated into a larger system | Photo source InovaYa

Portable and sustainable water treatment aides rural areas


A French company has developed solutions that could provide rural and urban communities with fresh drinking water, whilst having little environmental impact

Spotted: According to the World Health Organisation, as of 2017, 785 million people still lacked even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million who were dependent on surface water. On top of this, around 2 billion people globally use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. This situation is set to get worse, as the WHO estimates that by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

However, French company InovaYa’s water treatment solutions are capable of providing clean water without the use of consumables or chemicals, at an annual cost of just €3 per person. The company’s unYo system is designed for rural and peri-urban communities of up to 20,000 inhabitants. The portable system connects directly to a water source and offers filtration down to 10 nanometres – enough to block 99.99 per cent of bacteria and viruses, along with pesticide residues and suspended solids.

The unYo is also highly energy-efficient, requiring just 2,000 watts to operate (about the same as a vacuum cleaner). It also uses filters made from recycled and recyclable materials guaranteed to last 10 years. The aYa is a similar system designed for use in individual buildings such as homes, health care centres and hospitals. It comes in a wall-mounted version, a pedestal version and a container-enclosed version, and operates with just 36 Watts of power (about the same as a light bulb).

According to InovaYa, both unYo and aYa are, “designed to make a strong social and economic impact leading to local development and the circular economy.” In addition, the systems are, “compact [and] easy to deploy in any emergency context due to its plug-and-play operation.”

Clean water should be a human right. Luckily, however, there are no shortages of ideas designed to help deliver cleaner water for everyone. Some innovations that have been recently highlighted here at Springwise include a floating ocean waste disposal factory and an affordable water filter for individual use. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations | Food & Drink Innovations



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