More than one billion people lack access to safe drink worldwide, and for this reason, water borne illness has become the leading cause of death. On any given day, over 50% of the world's hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from water-borne disease*.
The UN predicts that by 2025, 2/3 of the world's population will face periodic and severe water shortage. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods claim most of their victims by dysentery resulting from contaminated water supplies.
HTI's personal hydration products work very efficiently for Humanitarian efforts and as an early entry water solution for disaster relief situations. The products require very simple maintenance making them ideal for remote locations, they have the ability to be used in a variety of water sources, they have a great taste along with the added nutritional benefits of electrolytes and they can offer a lift reduction between 14x and 35x.
HTI's technology uses Forward Osmosis (FO), which is a natural equilibrium process. Two liquids are separated by a membrane that only allows water to pass, while rejecting even the harshest of contaminants. A sports drink syrup on the clean side of the membrane acts as a draw solution as water diffuses across the membrane to dilute out the syrup. The resulting clean drink provides much needed calories and electrolytes.
For disaster relief, HTI's forward osmosis products offer the following advantages:
HTI's HydroPack and X-Pack were used successfully in the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake and other disaster situations.
The HydroPack is a 12 fl. oz. (355 ml) pouch that is simply placed into a water source to self-hydrate. When it is hydrated, the user punctures it with a straw and drinks. The pouches can be left overnight to hydrate. In Haiti, a swimming pool was used as a water source to hydrate thousands of pouches. They were then distributed throughout the tent city of Carrefour to the earthquakes survivors. Any mud puddle or creek would work as a water source. The concept is to keep a supply hydrated so that there is always a safe drink available to the user.
The X-Pack is a multi-use product that can produce over 54 fl. oz (1.6 L) of clean drink a day per charge. The product comes with 10 charges, but with a resupply kit the X-Pack can produce up to 8.5 gal (32 L) of clean drink over the life span of the filter. This product was favored by medical personnel in Haiti for its multi-use capabilities. In Haiti doctors and nurses mixed the clean drink produced from the X-Pack with the powdered antibiotics they were supplying to their patients. Otherwise, the patients often have no choice but to mix the antibiotics with contaminated water which negates the whole purpose of the medicine.
HTI's products are not meant to displace other bulk water strategies such as ROWPUs, municipal water systems, or shipboard desalination and bottling. Instead, they should play a very critical role in the early phase of disaster relief until other production and distribution strategies can be put in place. The early phase is critical to disease prevention efforts.
*(Statistics supplied by Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security)