Preserving Global Water Quality

with audio embeded

New Water Quality Testing System Expected to Generate Millions in New Sales

Canadian Company: Real Tech Inc.

Israeli Company: Mekorot

Sector: Environment

Challenge

Each day, millions of people draw water from their kitchen taps, trusting it is safe to drink. The need to proactively manage the health of drinking water is underscored by tragedies such as the deadly E. Coli contamination in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada in May 2000. This incident claimed seven lives, hospitalized hundreds of others, and cost more than $64 million. It is just one of many threats to drinking water quality. In 2011, it is estimated that almost 10,000 tonnes of chemicals spilled into US waters14. These and other risks led a Canadian and Israeli firm to join forces and develop a novel water monitoring system that guards against contamination, and ensures the safety of drinking water.

Objectives

Leveraging funding from the Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program managed by CIIRDF, this bilateral R&D project brought together:

  • Real Tech Inc., an award-winning Canadian company that has developed a product line of portable and real time water quality analyzers; and
  • Mekorot, Israel’s national water company which provides 80 percent of the nation’s drinking water.

The companies collaborated on the development of custom software for Real Tech’s leading-edge Ultra Violet (UV) absorption technology real time monitoring solutions. These systems use light to assess water quality and rapidly detect contaminants such as organics and nitrates. If the experiments are successful, Mekorot will consider customizing this Canadian technology to address their unique needs, and distribute the systems throughout their national water network. Although Mekorot employs many instruments to monitor drinking water quality, the company aims to continuously strengthen its contaminant detection capabilities.

Leveraging their shared R&D expertise, Mekorot and Real Tech’s joint partnership has resulted in the development of new water quality testing algorithms. The team integrated these step-by-step procedures into the software that manages Real Tech’s UV-based monitoring system. Preliminary field trials generated outstanding results.

Outcomes

Jodi Glover, CEO, Real Tech

“We are very thankful for the funding and guidance provided by CIIRDF. It made our joint partnership with Mekorot possible. As a growing business, this support has an enormous impact on our firm as it helps to foster innovation, and open-up new global market opportunities. The technical and commercial development emerging from this partnership will not only drive Real Tech’s growth, and create an estimated seven new jobs within our company. It will improve water quality and security for Mekorot’s many customers. We look forward to providing this new solution to global clients in more than 40 countries. The outcomes of this project have also helped us to secure the opportunity to supply water quality systems to the Government of India. This CIIRDF-supported partnership is helping us to achieve our vision of improving global water quality.”

Mekorot, Israel’s National Water Company, places high value on advancing and implementing innovative technology, such as that developed by Real Tech. For example, the company established WaTech®, a center for entrepreneurship that provides a platform for partnerships between Mekorot and start-ups, entrepreneurs, academics and established companies.

Avraham Ben Yossef, Engineering & Technologies Vice President, Mekorot

“This CIIRDF-supported water quality system further increases Mekorot’s technological capabilities. If our experiments generate effective results, it will enable our plant operators to continually improve the assessment of Israeli water quality; mitigate water contamination threats; and take immediate action when needed. This will help increase the security of our water supply, and our citizens. This is a top priority for Mekorot. If proven efficient, this new technology will also help us to reduce the overall cost of water quality monitoring, further maximizing our resources.”