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Credit: Asian Development Bank

Credit: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank supports innovation to bring drinking water to remote areas in the Philippines

An announcement made by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) highlighted its support for an innovative technology that will improve access to quality drinking water in urban and remote areas of the Philippines through the use of hydropanels.

A new technology will improve the access of Filipinos living in the urban and remote areas. The ADB is collaborating with Zero Mass Water, Inc (ZMW) and the Philippine National Electrification Administration (NEA) on this new technology that produces drinking water from sunlight and air.

SOURCE Hydropanels is developed by the US-based ZMW. It is an off-grid, solar-powered technology which extracts water vapour from the air into a proprietary absorbent material.

The water flows into a reservoir where it is mineralised with calcium and magnesium for health and taste benefits. Not only does it provide high quality drinking water, but it also eliminates plastic pollution since each hydropanel displaces up to 50,000 standard PET bottles. Moreover, the panels are 98% recyclable and have a 15-year lifespan.

ADB has already installed a SOURCE Hyrdopanel array at its headquarters in Manila in 2017. This is to reduce usage of bottled water at the same time serves as an opportunity to showcase the technology for possible implementation in different parts of the country.

NEA, with the cooperation and support of ZMW and ADB, will be deploying a total of 40 SOURCE hydropanel units to eight island communities in the Philippines in the coming months.

ADB extended a grant worth $80,000 to NEA to purchase the solar hydropanels. This is exclusive of installation cost that will be shouldered as counterpart funding of the NEA.

ADB Energy Sector Group Chief Mr Yongping Zhai said, “The deployment of climate-proof drinking water through the SOURCE Hydropanels will help address the water supply problems in rural and off-grid areas, especially in small islands in the Philippines which lack access to both reliable drinking water and electricity.”

He added, “We hope that, through this pilot project, we can demonstrate the viability of this innovative technology.”

Once ADB and NEA are satisfied with the results of the pilot, NEA may possibly deploy it on a larger scale.

ZMW Founder and CEO Mr Cody Friesen said, “We are thrilled to partner with ADB and NEA to deploy SOURCE Hydropanels as an innovative solution to the many drinking water challenges in the Philippines.”

He added, “The Philippines’ fragmented geography adds extra barriers for reliance on traditional water infrastructure, yet makes it ideal for our technology providing families, communities, and businesses with drinking water resilience in the form of a sustainable drinking water supply.”

ZMW aims to make safe, high-quality drinking water available to people in developing countries through the use of SOURCE Hydropanels. The company is partnering with its distributor, Green Heat, to deploy hydropanels across the Philippines.

NEA is focused on strengthening its partners in the rural electrification program, the electric cooperatives, by ensuring that they become more efficient, reliable and globally competitive.

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