AUTARCON

AUTARCON develops and implements a technology platform for the long term supply of safe drinking water in developing regions. With its SuMeWa|SYSTEM, it offers a very robust and solar driven technology adapting to local water conditions for pumping, filtering and disinfecting water. After the treatment, the water is safely stored for distribution and the quality is monitored online and adapted as required. The station automatically backwashes and regenerates filtration components, whenever required. The required residual disinfectant is produced electrolytically using the natural mineral content of the water. This way the water is constantly kept safe for consumption and no chemicals are required. In combination with fully-automatized and maintenance-free filtration modules were tested specifically for local conditions to reduce iron, manganese or turbidity in water. Due to its solar photovoltaic modules, SuMeWa|SYSTEM operates independently of any infrastructure and functions in a self-sufficient way without even needing  batteries. AUTARCON is headquartered in Germany, providing safe drinking water in countries across Africa and India.

More than two billion people drink water that is contaminated and three in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. AUTARCON uses technology in a self-sustaining approach which suited for a majority of areas in the developing world with limited or no access to electricity to run such powered filtration systems. AUTARCON reduces the carbon footprint of water treatment, as most of the stations run on solar PV generated electricity. The water stations also provide the supply of electricity for charging of batteries, mobile phones etc.

Apart from the improving health conditions, the stations also create local job opportunities. The staff receive money for recharging water cards, operations, maintenance, water vendors reselling the water and guards securing the infrastructure. On average, about two to three jobs are created per water project. In some areas, the sheer access to water has improved the economic conditions. It has installed 50 stations in 10 countries with a strong concentration in Tanzania, Egypt, India and Nepal, serving about 50,000 people worldwide.

AUTARCON is a for-profit enterprise that works with business partners to identify, set up and operate water points in locations worldwide. The partners take care of the infrastructure and can either buy a system upfront or receive it for free and payback via royalties generated from water sales.

It conducts a wide range of commonly required water treatment steps (oxidation of iron, manganese, arsenic, flocculation and disinfection). In combination with advanced media filtration, several of the usually required water treatment chemicals are substituted. With their approach, most waters can be treated without such an external supply, making the process extremely robust and reducing operational and maintenance requirements to a minimum. Every water user receives a prepaid water card, which grants access to water at the designated tap points. The cards are either recharged with the station operators or via mobile money services. Currently, water is supplied at extremely low prices in agreement with the community. The taps further allow the introduction of special tariffs for members like hospitals, schools, water re-sellers etc. The agreed tariffs have proven to be sufficient to operate and maintain the station as well as to recover the investment costs.

  • Water is pumped treated and safely disinfected using solar generated electricity only
  • Residual disinfection is assured by means of on-site chlorine production from salts that occur naturally in the water.
  • Water quality is online monitored and quality data are offered via open access
  • Consumer groups decide on water price and pay with prepaid water credit cards
  • Up to 5.000 people can be supplied with water per station
  • Sales of water assure constant operation payment of local operators and spare parts
  • WhatsApp group for every station allows simple with troubleshooting at any time.

Key Facts

Organization: AUTARCON GmbH
Website: http://www.autarcon.com
Contact: Philipp Otter
Email: otter@autarcon.com
Operating in: India, Egypt, Tanzania, Nepal

Category

Water & Sanitation

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