Bluewater Africa Trailers will be at KAMERS/Makers from 4 – 9 December at Cornwall Hill College in Irene, Pretoria. The mobile water stations are the result of a partnership between the Swedish innovation of the Bluewater Group, and the African ingenuity of I-Drop Water, two integrated companies whose mission it is to provide clean drinking water to everyone, and to eliminate the use of single-use plastic. Bluewater Africa will also be showcasing their patented Bluewater Pro water purification technology and I-Drop Water will have their water dispensers in use and on display.
Bluewater Africa’s presence at KAMERS/Makers is the extension of its partnership with the event and Consol Glass, to provide purified drinking water during SA’s top handcraft and design show. The organisers approached Bluewater Africa and Consol Glass to provide glass bottles and drinking water to keep visitors hydrated, without the need for single-use plastic water bottles, leading the way in sustainable event management and ensuring our environment is placed first.
KAMERS/Makers is a six-day celebration of local decor, fashion, jewellery, gifts, food, wine and so much more, and at the recently held Cape event at Blaauwklippen Vineyards between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, the partnership with Bluewater Africa and Consol Glass resulted in over 7000 litres of water being used to refill glass bottles received by the nearly 13000 guests of the show. This equates to over 14 000 500ml plastic water bottles that were not purchased for drinking water during the show.
Swedish innovation and African ingenuity
Bluewater is a privately-owned Swedish multinational company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden specialising in advanced water purification tech and solutions for home, commercial and public drinking stations. The company saw the acute need for their services, both at events and in South African homes and commercial environments, when they provided water stations at the Volvo Ocean Race Village at the Waterfront in Cape Town in December 2017, during the height of the water crisis and the threat of Day Zero. The Bluewater Pro is a state-of-the-art water purifier that cleans water of practically all known contaminants, including lead, chemicals and micro-plastics, to provide a fresh, palate-pleasing taste.
Bluewater has partnered with social enterprise I-Drop Water – they design, build and install drinking water purification and dispensing machines. Formed in 2015 by husband and wife team James and Kate Steere, I-Drop uses nano-purification water filtration technology and a GSM-enabled platform to empower grocery store owners to purify and sell safe, affordable drinking water to their customers. Shoppers refill multi-use containers and pay by the litre for the drinking water they need, an innovative approach that saw the couple win the 2017 All Africa Business Leader Award – Innovator of the Year, hosted by CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa.
Founded by Swedish environmental entrepreneur Bengt Rittri in 2013, Bluewater has won numerous awards for its approach to providing access to clean drinking water to people in the USA, China, South East Asia, Europe and now South Africa.
The advent of the Bluewater Trailer smart design
The collaboration between the two companies has led to the design and build of the mobile Bluewater Africa Trailers, for use by events to provide drinking water to refill bottles or hydration packs (in the case of sports events).
The trailer replaces the Bluewater water stations used at the Volvo Ocean Race Village, that were made up of a jojo tank and a container that needed to be trucked in and offloaded. The Bluewater Africa Trailer is 2.8m wide x 3m long x 1.5m high and can be transported to any venue. The Bluewater Pro water purifier and a 1000 litres of water supply, fits into the trailer, providing purified drinking water, chilled or at room temperature, via two or four dispensers on the front of the trailer.
“We have built 6 working prototypes of the trailer since we started product-development earlier this year, and through multiple iterations and upgrades we now have a unique and versatile solution that we are extremely proud of and looking forward to scaling-out during 2019. Using I-Drop’s GSM technology, we are able to supply accurate statistics on the amount of water consumed by visitors to these events, thereby quantifying the huge value of the service in eliminating single-use plastic,” says James Steere, co-founder of I-Drop Water and Executive Director of Bluewater Africa.
“We have assisted The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Rocking the Daisies, The Colour Run and a host of other events to limit the amount of single-use plastic used at their events, and for some events, particularly in the Cape, we supply non-potable water purified by the Bluewater Pro technology.”
The Trailer service is currently available in Cape Town and Johannesburg/Pretoria, and plans are in place to roll out the service to other centres around the country.
Taste the difference at KAMERS/Makers
Steere continues: “After the success of the partnership at KAMERS/Makers in the Cape, we look forward to again providing pure, clean drinking water from the Bluewater Trailers and showcasing our I-Drop Water and Bluewater Pro water purification technology. We will have a blind water tasting experience for visitors to try to identify which water is Bluewater and which is tap water.”
“Bluewater and I-Drop have put sustainability and removing single-use plastics at the heart of its business mission and we are honored to showcase our solutions at KAMERS/Makers to demonstrate how we can assist event organisers and consumers make sustainability a priority, and to ensure they are consuming only the purest drinking water,” says Steere.