At WATERFX we are reimagining water. Current water systems were designed for a global population of three billion and by the end of this century we will need water for over twelve billion people. Our mission is to use technology to develop a new source of water and make fresh water affordable, accessible and abundant for every human on the planet. We do this using solar-powered desalination to generate fresh water from an infinite source and through a peer-to-peer connected water network to deliver a better, more reliable, ever sustainable water service to residents, businesses, industry and cities.
Water is abundant, yet not always accessible in the places most needed. When we deplete our natural, local water supplies we turn to diversion to move water using pipelines, canals and aqueducts. Distribution infrastructure is expensive and adds substantially to the cost of water. It also detracts from the environment, which is already suffering from excessive diversion. Rather, we can make better use of the unusable water we do have – we call this distributed generation. Our approach not only makes local water more accessible, it lessens demand on the water grid which reduces the need to move water over long distances. Since water generation is energy intensive, the key to distributed generation is the source of energy. Solar energy is low cost and can be deployed almost anywhere to power water generation.
One of the most common misconceptions is we are running out of water. In fact, the amount of available fresh water has not changed one drop since the beginning of time. The problem is we now use it faster than Mother Nature can provide it and what remains is unusable, trapped as ice or as saltwater that is not drinkable. Even in California, a desert climate where we suffer from chronic droughts, we have more water than we will ever need. Though it exists in unusable forms that are not potable, such as seawater, brackish groundwater, wastewater and agricultural water. All these sources of water can be sustainably cleaned and returned to our water system, reducing or altogether eliminating our dependence on finite fresh water.
WATERFX is leading a revolution in water technology. Both in the cost of desalinated water, which can be dramatically reduced to compete directly with the cost of natural freshwater, and in how we use technology to ensure reliable water access. Universal water accessibility will continue to elude us if we are dependent on massive infrastructure projects. Technology is a powerful tool for leapfrogging excessive amounts of infrastructure by harnessing local energy resources. We call this WATER 3.0 as it represents the third major advancement in water since the beginning of time. Our new technology platform will ween us off total dependence on natural freshwater. We have reached an inflection point where the cost of infrastructure to transport water is far more costly than the energy needed to make it. WATER 3.0 will result in the lowest possible delivered water cost.
We can create as much water as we need and altogether eliminate our dependence on natural freshwater.
Increasing water generation is accomplished by separating fresh water from salt water, known as desalination. Conventional seawater desalination uses large amounts of electricity to push seawater through a membrane, called reverse osmosis. This process is costly, as it requires a lot of energy to drive high-pressure pumps and as such, has limited the application of desalination as a primary source of water. Traditional desalination also requires the discharge of concentrated brine, which can be harmful to marine ecosystems, further hampering the growth of desalination.
Solar desalination uses solar energy in place of fossil-generated electricity as the primary energy source. This reduces the cost of energy and increases the amount of water recovered. Solar desalination is not limited to seawater and can be deployed anywhere with a solar resource to treat and recycle impaired water. Since the energy supply is directly integrated into the desalination process, there is no need for co-location of a power plant or access to grid transmission. Solar desalination does not produce a liquid byproduct that needs to be discharged. Instead, salts are recovered as a solid that can be further refined into downstream products, such as chemicals and building materials.
Energy commodities, such as electricity, are efficiently exchanged in open marketplaces where trading activity is driven by supply and demand. Water is unique in that it does not benefit from an open exchange, making it a highly illiquid commodity. We are building the first, comprehensive water exchange platform to enable water to be traded and exchanged. We call this platform Lquid. Lquid is powered by a deep database of water holders, water sources and water quality data which maps to a fully-digitized water grid routing the flow of water within the system.
Lquid allows anyone, whether you are an individual, business or city, to buy, sell or invest in water. By opening up the exchange of water to all, we make the water system more efficient and streamline the process of moving water to where it is valued.
The distribution of water is through a central utility or water agency who procures large volumes of water for cities and municipalities then forms a contract with individuals to provide water service. Distributed water generation is a peer-to-peer network that directly connects water providers and water users to make alternate sources of water available. Water is distributed using the existing distribution grid, though supply is greatly enhanced by enabling new water sources, such as solar desalination. The water quality and reliability remains the same, however increased supply helps to maintain a low cost of water for the longterm.
We facilitate the execution of smart water contracts between users and automate the process of consummating a water transfer. This can be a transfer of water from one individual to another, from an individual to a business or from the development of a new water project to any number of end users. With our platform, anyone who has available water or who wants to develop a new, sustainable source of water becomes a water provider. And anyone who needs water or wants to buy water can directly access alternate water providers. We facilitate all the steps required to deliver these new water sources.
The Evolution of Water
Groundwater and Water Diversion
(beginning in 1950)
(2020 and beyond)