Unesco Green Citizens

Aqualuz – Safe Drinking Water For All

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Project begin: 17/08/2015

Today, 785 million people (1 in 9) do not have access to drinking water. Water connects all aspects of life, that is why Anna Luísa Beserra Santos has created an affordable device that uses the sun to purify water in cisterns. This system already gives 1500 people in Brazil access to clean water.

The device works for up to 20 years and there is no need to use chemicals or complex filters. It can provide a family with clean water, with a daily cost of US $ 0.02 per 10 L of treated water.

This innovative technology applies the methodology of solar water disinfection (SODIS), an already globally well-known and validated technology, to focus on the needs and pains of the public that use rainwater harvesting systems in rural, semi-arid areas in Brazil. As the Aqualuz technology is given out, general training is given to the families so they can all actively participate in the deployment of the technology. Each Aqualuz unit is able to sustain a family of 5. Summing all units already installed, the technology has positively impacted 1,500 people.

This makes a big difference for them, as they help people understand the importance of using technology and they become replicators for neighbours, increasing the rate of use and impact of Aqualuz. It also enabled the evolution of the technology as families were able to give great insights and advice in to how to improve the product.


Covered Countries: Brazil
Theme: Education for Sustainable Development, Hydrology
Sub-themes: Access to water, Poverty and inequality reduction, Resources management, Rural areas, Water education, Water resource management, Water sanitation, Water science
Selection: 2020
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Project needs
Equipment supply
Financial partners
Logistical support
Partnerships development
Sponsorship/ Philanthropy

Initial Problem

Today, 785 million people – 1 in 9 – do not have access to clean, safe water. Furthermore, 2 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. For millions of women, children, and communities, access to safe water can turn problems into potential — unlocking education, economic opportunity and improved health. Water is essential to every aspect of life. Access to safe water and sanitation can quickly turn problems into potential – empowering people with time for school and work, and contributing to improved health for women, children, and families around the world.

The positive impacts that the project has made

Aqualuz is now giving access to clean water to 1.5 thousand people in Brazil and by the end of 2020, will have reached about 5 thousand people, making sanitation viable in rural areas of Brazil.

Children can now focus on their education and women in local communities do not have to walk for hours to get clean drinking water.

The impacted areas and population

Within Brazil, they operate in the States of Bahia, Alagoas, Ceará, Perambuco and Rio Grande do Norte. The local communities here, now have access to clean water. Each Aqualuz unit is able to sustain a family of 5. Summing all units already installed, the technology has positively impacted 1,500 people.

The number of people positively impacted by Aqualuz is increasing and they are hoping to provide clean water to 1 million people. Expanding access to their technology to other countries so they can make an impact and give people in America, Africa and Asia access to clean water, sustainably.

The obstacles and challenges

When Anna Luísa Beserra Santos started the business, she was only 17 and had no savings to invest and she was entirely dependent on her parents’ help. In addition, she had little knowledge of the science or how to establish and run a business. This led to difficulties, as there was no way to technically validate the Aqualuz product. To solve these two challenges, she started to study business management and the science behind the technology. In parallel, a team and a network were built, leading to winning awards resources and thus validating the technology. Followed by the conquest of the first customers, who are giving them autonomy to scale.

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