Award Winner 2021
Category “Innovation for Development”
HELIOZ GmbH is a social enterprise in the field of water disinfection based in Austria. HELIOZ pursues the goal of giving people in developing and emerging countries access to clean drinking water. Through its innovative solution for water disinfection, the self-developed UV measuring device WADI, HELIOZ provides numerous families in India, Africa and Southeast Asia with safely treated drinking water, thus creating high social, economic and ecological benefits. The company’s projects are implemented in cooperation with local partners. To contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, HELIOZ has strengthened its hygiene and sanitation measures and provided its local partner organisations with protective equipment for onward distribution.
HELIOZ aims to improve access to clean water for disadvantaged communities and thus their livelihoods. Through a systematic approach, the company raises awareness in the use of clean water and the associated positive impact on the environment and for the observance of hygiene measures. The solar-powered UV measurement device WADI was developed specifically for water treatment at the household level. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has tested the procedure and classified it as an effective method. The device is placed next to a glass or PET bottle filled with contaminated water and exposed to the sun. As soon as the water has reached drinking water quality due to the effect of sunlight, the device indicates this by a smiley as an easily recognisable signal. To improve the acceptance of the WADI devices, an information and awareness campaign is planned.
The company’s distinctive approach and the results of the project
HELIOZ starts directly with the people concerned with its solar-powered measurement device: The device aims to provide 50,000 households in rural India with a cost-effective and ecological method of water purification. As a safe alternative to boiling water, the most common method used to date to make contaminated water potable, the use of WADI makes it possible to dispense with open fires. This reduces the associated risks of injury and health problems such as respiratory diseases. In addition, firewood can be saved, which means a reduction of about 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, related to 50,000 households in eight Indian states. The project also has an impact from a social point of view: the procurement and disinfection of water is often the responsibility of (young) women, and the use of WADI relieves them of this responsibility. Clean water also prevents diseases transmitted through contaminated water and contributes to reducing child mortality.
How the prize money is used
The prize money will go towards a comprehensive information and awareness campaign. It is intended to improve acceptance for the use of the WADI device. The measures take place in selected rural communities in India and also include sanitation and hygiene training according to the recognised WASH method and locally adapted information materials. The impact measurement as well as the official validation and verification of the reduction of CO2 emissions is carried out by means of an app.
Obtaining clean drinking water is simplified by WADI: Instead of boiling contaminated water, it is filled into PET bottles and placed in the sun with the WADI UV measurement device. The device indicates as soon as the process of water disinfection by UV radiation is completed.
The WADI UV measurement device from HELIOZ displays a smiling smiley as soon as the contaminated water has been disinfected by sunlight.
HELIOZ’s Water4Climate project aims to provide 50,000 people in rural India with access to clean drinking water. A lot has happened since the award was given: HELIOZ has developed training materials to inform people about important hygiene and water management measures. This serves to protect personal health and the vital resource of water. In addition, a monitoring app was developed, also co-financed by the prize money. The app can be used to track the progress of the project, for example how much CO₂ has been saved through solar water disinfection with the help of WADI devices.
The project, which started in 2021, captivates with its effective and simple approach: at the center is a device developed by HELIOZ that measures the UV radiation of sunlight. UV radiation can kill germs in water. The WADI is placed next to a glass or PET bottle filled with contaminated water. As soon as the sunlight has sufficiently disinfected the water, a smiley appears on the display of the device. The water is now drinkable. Another advantage is that the previously necessary boiling of water, to disinfect it, is not necessary anymore. This saves firewood and thus also reduces CO₂ emissions.
Learn more about HELIOZ: HELIOZ Future Economy