Drinkwell is building resilience to climate change in Bangladesh, where only about a third of the population has access to safe drinking water. That's critical for avoiding serious waterborne illnesses like cholera and typhoid fever.
The company has created a new delivery method, ATM-style machines – that sell and dispense clean water in Bangladesh and are more accessible for people whose homes aren't connected to water pipes.
For about eight years, since 2015, Drinkwell has deployed 300 Water ATMs that have created more than 430 jobs for people in Bangladesh and brought almost 200 million gallons of clean water to low-income communities in Dhaka, enough drinking water for more than 700,000 people a year.
“Drinkwell Water ATMs simplify complex water system management through mechanical, digital, and cloud-based automation thereby reducing cash leakage, water loss, and human dependency required to operate a community-based water system,” said Minhaj Chowdhury, CEO. “Plus, our cloud-based Water ATM portal enables real-time view of system utilization, liters dispensed, revenue, and customer demographic data.”
They also have installed 275 community-based wellhead arsenic and fluoride removal units in remote villages across the states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh in India. These systems supply nearly 300,000 villagers with arsenic-safe water. Each village manages the system through a local community-based committee and has been running successfully for several years.
Bertzman provided a working capital line of credit to finance equipment and customer receivables.
“Drinkwell is a testament to the power of inspiration as one of the company's founders is a Bangladeshi American whose grandfather died of a waterborne illness,” commented Neil Berman of Bertzman.
Related Topics: Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, Social entrepreneurs in India, Clean Water, Bertzman Social Ventures News