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Safi Water Works provides products that purify drinking water using proven UV technology without the need for electricity. They are designed to be economical and effective and are marketed to local entrepreneurs in the developing world to own and operate clean water businesses.
Through on-the-ground partnerships both public and private, Safi assists local entrepreneurs in launching water kiosk businesses. Once established, local entrepreneurs receive ongoing maintenance and support from locally based employees.
The ripple effect of the technology—beyond safe, clean drinking water—is less illness and disease, better hygiene, and income-generating opportunities that lift individuals and communities out of poverty. Safi’s products help free women and girls (who bear the brunt of gathering and boiling water) to participate in income-generating work and education.
The Global Drinking Water Crisis:
50% of the planet lives in urban areas
Urban populations in the developing world will grow by 2.9 billion by 2050
Poor cities can’t provide safe drinking water now
If you have ever traveled or lived in the developing world, you are likely aware that we have a global water crisis. And, this water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet.
Municipal systems cannot reliably provide safe drinking water, forcing customers to treat their water to ensure its safety, most often by boiling. As cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day, lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life.
The need for efficient, effective, convenient and affordable products is massive and it needs to happen now!
Amy Doering Smith
After 18 years of management in the nonprofit sector, Amy comes to Safi Water Works with a passion for and commitment to social change. Amy’s experience ranges from small scrappy startup organizations entirely run by volunteers to the $65+ million San Francisco-based Tides Center. Amy has successfully raised millions of dollars on behalf of nonprofits from foundations, corporations, government entities, and individual donors and has served as a senior leader in several organizations in California and Oregon. As CEO of Safi Water Works, Amy is responsible for all things operational. She leads the development and execution of both short and long term strategy to ensure Safi’s success.
Paul has focused his entire career on drinking water supply and treatment. In addition to designing systems for many U.S. cities, he has led designs in a number of international locations, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo, and Burundi. Through these projects he became aware of the need for a better point-of-use water treatment product and began developing his idea. He used an early version prototype for his own drinking water while living and working in Uganda in 2009-2010. He maximized the value of his stay by interviewing Ugandan residents of Kampala about their water practices; 100% stated tap water was unsafe without treatment and most boiled their water to treat it. With the support of CH2M HILL Inc. and the untiring help of friend and fellow engineer, Chris Smith, Paul successfully designed and built early prototypes, obtained a U.S. patent, and performed basic lab and field tests.
Jon Maroney has been actively involved in the Portland entrepreneurial scene since arriving here in 2001 and is currently a managing partner at Amplify United. Prior to starting his first company, he ran product marketing and business development groups for a number of software companies. Since then, Jon has worked primarily to provide the business and product strategy element to teams of outstanding engineers. Jon founded FreeRange Communications, one of the first mobile app companies in 2004 (long before anyone knew what an App was), creating the leading publishing platform and delivering some of the first mobile products for Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Reuters, Forbes, Newsweek, and London Evening Standard. It’s sister company, Storycode, was responsible for driving the current wave of digital narrative story-telling on iPad and other tablet devices. In addition, Jon has been an investor, board member and advisor to a number of hardware and software technology companies in Portland and the Bay Area. Jon holds a B.A. from Boston University.
Juli Morse is an experienced technology commercialization professional, innovation scout and entrepreneur and is currently a managing partner at Amplify United. She has over 12 years experience in the high tech and consumer goods industries, working for Hewlett Packard, several startup companies, and most recently, The Clorox Company. Juli specializes in business development and product development for startups (product strategy, product & technology marketing), as well as innovation scouting, IP development/management, licensing, and strategic partnering. Her experience and networks related to early stage technologies ranges from mobile and online technologies to implantable biomaterials and green chemistries. Juli has strong partnering experience and contacts, and expertise in identifying and externally-supplied innovation opportunities. Juli holds a B.S. degree in Engineering from George Fox University and B.S. & M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
Phillip Greene, Engineering Ministries International – Kampala, Uganda.
Richard Obonyo, Engineer – Kampala, Uganda
Janet Strike Ausel, Senior Water and Sanitation Advisor, Samaratin’s Purse – Boone, NC
Mort Anoushiravani, Mercy Corps; Abby Sarmac, Lemelson Foundation; Laura Guimond, Travel Portland; Mark Toy, State of Washington; Aaron Liss, Green Empowerment; Benjamin West, EcoZoom Stoves; Theresa Burks, Zimbabwe Artists Project; Baba Wague Diakite, Ko-Falen Cultural Center.
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Water systems engineer, inventor, and Safi Water Works co-founder Paul Berg, first recognized the opportunity for developing a simple, inexpensive drinking water treatment product in 2007.
While living in Kampala, Uganda in 2009-10, Paul interviewed Ugandans about their home water sources and treatment practices. 100% reported that the water from their community tap was unsafe without treatment.
With the support of his employer, CH2M HILL Inc., and the untiring help of friend and fellow engineer, Chris Smith, Paul successfully designed and built early prototypes, obtained a U.S. patent, and performed basic lab and field tests.
In February 2013, Safi Water Works was born to bring Paul’s work to developing world markets. Paul serves on the Board of Directors of Safi Water Works and is a key advisor to our work.