March 8, 2021
Water is an important resource in British Columbia (B.C.). The province has over 27,000 kilometres of coastline (more than all the United States), more than 20,000 lakes and approximately 300 rivers. With 98% of B.C.’s energy coming from hydro and other clean energy sources, many economic sectors rely on the beauty, bounty, and cleanliness of these bodies of water. British Columbia recognizes the value of protecting such a diverse and vital resource, so water purification technology has also flourished here and become a valuable export.
Acuva Technologies, based in Burnaby, British Columbia, is the world leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of advanced UV-LED water purification technology solutions. Acuva’s proprietary technology, developed in partnership with researchers at the University of British Columbia, purifies drinking water with disinfection rates of 99% or higher. This kind of technology is gaining importance worldwide, opening new opportunities for investors and generating exciting new trade deals.
Acuva Technologies has partnered with Kooler Industries, the Philippines’ largest manufacturer of drinking fountains and water dispensers, to bring Acuva UV-LED water purification technology to the Philippine market. It’s a large market with significant demand: Out of 101 million Filipinos, nine million rely on unsafe and unsustainable water sources and 19 million lack access to improved sanitation. In addition, plastic waste (from bottled water among other things) is a major contributor to pollution in the Philippines.
Each installation of Acuva purification technology, configured specifically to Kooler’s requirements, enables 1.2 million litres of safe drinking water which reduces the need for approximately 1.2 million single-use plastic water bottles.
Water purification initiatives in India could open further trade opportunities for British Columbia.
The Government of India has set up a Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water and Sanitation) and initiated programs such as River Inter -Linking and Rejuvenation of River Ganga to provide clean drinking water to all households by 2024, and to conserve and revive natural sources of water. Key projects of relevance to B.C. companies are the Ganga Cleaning Mission and the Jal Jivan Mission.
The Ganga Cleaning Mission, funded by the World Bank, aims to build massive wastewater treatment infrastructure across 120 towns along the Ganga River Basin. The government has initiated a concept of One City One Operator to run the sewage and wastewater infrastructure.
The Jal Jivan Mission is a massive government program to provide piped water supply to every household by 2024. This has created opportunities for various innovative technologies for water purification.
B.C. companies can provide the water purification and related technology to support these initiatives. Acuva is already making forays in the consumer products space in India with the Acuva Solarix UV-LED portable disinfection wand. Acuva Solarix have been certified for 99.97% disinfection against SARS-Cov-2 in 10 sec, validated by InterTek and CUBRC INC, Buffalo, New York — A Biosafety Level 3 laboratory facility certified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The product will be sold through e-commerce and B2B channels in the launch phase and subsequently expanded to Large Format Retail and General Trade.
Water is such a valuable resource that it recently became a tradable commodity on the stock market. Futures tied to the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index, which measures the volume-weighted average price of water, began trading under the ticker NQH2O on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in December of 2020.
According to World Vision, 844 million people lack basic drinking water access, more than one of every 10 people on the planet, and 2.3 billion people live without access to basic sanitation. Clean water is crucial to survival, but as pollution increases, clean water supplies decrease. By 2050, at least one in four people will likely live in a country affected by chronic or recurring fresh-water shortages.
British Columbia is well placed to combat that shortage and supply water purification technology to the world, with an established industry supported by world-class research centres, tech hubs and a supportive government.
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Trade and Invest BC helps facilitate foreign direct investment and has Trade and Investment Representatives in markets around the world. Contact the representative nearest you for support in investing in British Columbia.