“Our planet is covered 2/3rds in water and yet, Clean drinking Water is the hardest source to acquire around the world.”

“Did you know that globally 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem?” Around 1/3rd of the world's population drinks water from groundwater resources. Out of this, about 10 % i.e. 300 million people approx obtain water from groundwater resources that are heavily polluted with arsenic or fluoride. According to the WHO, Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a widespread issue across the globe. About 140 million people in 50 countries in South Asia, Africa, and the USA have been drinking water containing arsenic at levels above the WHO provisional guideline value of 10 μg/L. With no proper access to adequate treatment and recycling systems, 1.8 Billion people are subjected to contaminated drinking water with faecal matter risking dangerous diseases like Cholera, Dysentery, Typhoid and Polio. The more we realized the inequality of distribution of clean water, the higher was our drive to make a big change in the current system.

This drive gave way to the Team at Saffy starting their work at a small town in the Egyptian desert where water was sparse. The locals here resorted to drinking water in plastic bottle packaging which added to their problem by destroying the aquatic ecosystem of the area. The well water in this area had contaminated foul smelling water which couldn’t be used. Another major issue we came across is the contamination by heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium which regular water filtration systems are unable to treat.


Keeping all this in mind, the team at Saffy worked on a technology inspired by nature which enriches the environment it filters rather than stripping all the natural elements of the space. The team decided to work with a biomembrane of several layers to make this happen. Each layer is specifically devised to take care of each type of contamination ranging from suspended solids, pathogens to heavy metals. The scale of the system too has been taken into consideration as it needs to be accessed easily worldwide.


Nature led the team to a solution. The team at Saffy worked extensively with pearl oysters. The oysters were observed to be filter feeder aquatic organisms. They possess the quality to cleanse the water around itself from the unwanted particles and pollutants. Heavily inspired by this organism, the team at SaffyWater set to work on a nature inspired design which can mimic the style of oysters.


The SaffyWater team efficiently worked on lab observations and came up with a solution for water purification which is

- Sustainable and biodegradable

- Takes care of pathogens, heavy metals and other pollutants

- Eliminates both liquid industrial and agricultural waste

- Scalable from a personal use model to a community model

- Aesthetic design

SaffyWater conceived a design consisting of 3 major layers that allows us to get rid of contaminated water with heavy metals, pathogens and suspended solids. Each layer takes care of a certain type of pollutant. The whole system prevents any biological contamination both inside and outside the system, without altering the necessary natural properties of drinking water. To achieve this, a biomembrane has been developed. SaffyWater bio membrane is self sufficient, can continue working and flexible to scale up to large units and scale down to a personal water bottle size as well.