In 2020, Water Mission and its partners continuously pushed innovation and defined technical standards for delivering and powering safe water around the world.
Sustainable: Solar Power in Nyarugusu
Water Mission is one of the first organizations in the world to harness solar power to pump and disinfect water in a refugee setting. We now provide and treat all the water used in Tanzania’s Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, precisely chlorinating water with Grundfos dosing pumps as it is drawn from the ground. While this same application is commonly found in countries like the United States, Water Mission’s use of this method in the developing world and refugee settlements is truly pioneering. This year, for the first time, we filled all 150,000 refugees’ safe water needs using solar power alone.
Accurate: tTEM Geological Mapping
Thanks to the generosity of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, Water Mission is now using one of the only mobile towed Transient ElectroMagnetic (tTEM) systems in the world. This allows us to rapidly conduct highly accurate geological surveys and determine the best location for sourcing groundwater (i.e., drilling productive wells). The Poul Due Jensen Foundation purchased and donated this equipment for our global use. The tTEM has been used in both Ethiopia and Tanzania supporting refugee-related needs.
Efficient: Kohler Power Blending
Kohler and Water Mission have collaborated to develop a unique power blending solution. This technology maximizes our pumps’ use of solar energy while allowing the ability to tie in grid power and/or stand-by generators as needed. This functionality minimizes the operational costs associated with the system. It is especially useful in disaster relief and refugee contexts, where we may need to pump safe water both day and night. Power blending switches seamlessly between power sources, minimizing costs without interrupting the flow of water. We tested this new technology in Uganda and Puerto Rico, and it was so successful that Kohler is now offering it for commercial sale.
Resilient: Bringing Solar Power to Marsh Harbour
As part of our long-term disaster relief efforts, Water Mission finished installing the largest solar array we have ever engineered in Marsh Harbour, a town in the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. The solar energy is now integrated with the municipal power grid to help run the local water system. It increases the efficiency of water pumps by up to 33% at each of Marsh Harbour’s 25 wells. Funded by UNICEF and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, this solar array provides more than 3,500 local households and businesses with a reliable and resilient water system in the face of future storms.
Solar Powered Water Systems Design and Installation Guide
Water Mission recently partnered with UNICEF to author the first comprehensive guide to the design and installation of rural solar-powered water systems. Drawing on 13 years of experience implementing more than 1,400 solar-powered solutions, this resource provides instructions for meeting internationally recognized technical standards. The guide has been translated into both Spanish and French for greater usability by non-governmental organizations around the world.
Collaborative: Together with charity: water
In 2020, we were grateful to begin a multi-year partnership with charity: water to address water needs in one district of Uganda. A grant from the organization allowed us to serve over 16,000 people across three communities in the district through solar-powered water pumping solutions. We also partnered to implement sanitation solutions in two schools. In response to COVID-19, the grant was expanded, providing 150 emergency handwashing stations to the 40,000 residents in these communities.