For generations, remote villages in the Philippines have faced water scarcity and waterborne illness. Now, a SOURCE Global/Conservation International project that’s bringing clean, safe drinking water to the region has been named one of Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas.”
The Fast Company list includes businesses, policies, projects and concepts using innovation to solve health and climate crises, social injustice, and economic inequality. A panel of Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries.
This year’s list recognized how SOURCE Global’s groundbreaking technology has transformed life in Binta’t Karis, a remote, indigenous community in Palawan, Philippines. The area has limited water infrastructure, most of which is powered by gravity to reach communities at the base of the mountains. This system does not serve the Binta’t Karis, who live at a higher elevation, and the community relied on digging wells or walking miles to fetch water from a dirty river. Diarrhea from contaminated water was the second-leading cause of death in the area.
Now, families and students at Binta’t Karis Elementary School will have access to safe, potable water for drinking, cooking and sanitation. In collaboration and with support from Conservation International, SOURCE installed its patented hydropanel technology in the community, giving the community a reliable supply of clean, safe drinking water that comes not from the ground, but from the sky. SOURCE® Hydropanels use only solar energy to draw the endless volume of pure water vapor out of the air and convert it to high-quality, mineralized drinking water, entirely off the grid and with no pumps, pipes or electricity.
“In Palawan’s highlands, access to basic water services for the indigenous communities is poor and water-borne diseases remain prevalent,” said Enrique Nunez, Country Executive Director, CI Philippines. “Providing clean, healthy freshwater that is easy to access will improve health and will allow those who previously dedicated time to collecting water, predominantly mothers and teenagers, to focus on other activities that benefit themselves and their families.”
The Palawan project was funded by Elemental Excelerator, which provides support to scale equitable, market-driven solutions to climate change. It is one of three collaborations between Conservation International and SOURCE. Together, the two organizations have also placed SOURCE Hydropanels in Bahia Hondita, Colombia and Atauro Island in Timor-Leste.
“The future of water management is all about transformative partnerships like the Palawan project,” said Kimberly Baker, Director of Innovation at Elemental Excelerator. “It’s critical that we go far beyond augmenting the status quo and shift our focus towards business models that incorporate community-minded partnership and trust-building as key pillars. Elemental Excelerator is proud to have helped deliver a source of renewable drinking water to the people of Binta’t Karis with our partners in innovation.”
“Clean, safe water is human beings’ most essential need and a fundamental human right. Creating a resilient supply of it is very likely the most world-changing thing we can do,” said Cody Friesen, SOURCE Global’s founder and CEO. “When people gain freedom from the constant search for safe drinking water and the never-ending threat of illness, they can pursue education and employment, care for their families and the community, and build their local economies. Water lifts people up, and we’re proud to work with Conservation International and Elemental Excelerator to bring clean, safe and sustainably produced drinking water places where it’s needed most.”
About SOURCE Global, PBC
SOURCE Global, PBC’s mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource. The company’s SOURCE® Hydropanels create drinking water using sunlight and air as the only inputs, and can put the power of safe, sustainable drinking water in the hands of every person in nearly every climate and corner of the world. A Public Benefit Corporation, SOURCE is on Fast Company’s 2020 list of most innovative social good companies. The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and operates in 48 countries and on six continents. SOURCE is a registered trademark of SOURCE Global, PBC. For more information, visit www.source.co and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. We work in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Elemental Excelerator
Elemental Excelerator is on a mission to redesign the systems at the root of climate change. In 2009, the non-profit launched a new model for funding climate tech deployment. Breaking down barriers to innovation alongside entrepreneurs provides Elemental unique insight into the policy, market, and technology innovation needed to build systems to uplift people and communities around the world. Elemental has invested in over 100 growth-stage companies and celebrated more than a dozen exits, funded more than 70 technology projects, and built a platform for scaling equitable, market-driven solutions to climate change. For more information, please visit elementalexcelerator.com.
About the World Changing Ideas Awards
World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.