A good water business

Posted on 25 March 2014

The Bangladesh Project

Sujol aims to improve water quality in Bangladesh by implementing a unique combination of breakthrough water treatment technology (CapDI) and micro entrepreneurship. 

Project Plan
As the owner and manager of the project, EMF will be in the lead attracting and managing the funds needed to cover the budgets. EMF will buy the Voltea equipment and hand it over to DAM through a rental agreement. Voltea, the company producing the technology, will support this project by delivering the equipment against cost price backed up with in kind technical support. DAM will operate the testing units and set up a technical observation team in which officials of GoB will take place.

Communication is an essential part to support scaling up the project. To attract and commit partners a feasible social business model needs to be presented. Two partners join our project to accomplish this important job: Akvo and ProPortion Foundation. A new generation of web-based and mobile communication tools will be used, which have been developed by the Akvo Foundation ( Proportion will support DAM ( in developing an attractive business model using BoP proven co creation techniques (

Current status
After development and shipping of the water cleaning modules to Bangladesh, the commercial pilot of three plants has finished in December 2013. The plants were installed in the villages of Baksha, Kakshali and Sanka (Satkhira district, Kalaroa and Kaligangj Upazilla). In addition to self collection of water at the plant, water was sold to tea stall owners. 


The social enterprise that aims to provide affordable and safe drinking water to 18 million people in Bangladesh via 30.000 micro-entrepreneurs by 2020.


  • 20 plants operating
  • Final plant design
  • Partners for local production and assembly of Voltea technology
  • Final business plan with proven business model at scale and microfinance structure

Technologies used

CapDI (Capacitive deionization) is a product of Voltea, that desalinates brackish water at a lower economic and environmental cost than any other available technology. CapDI operates at low energy and recovers between 80% and 90% of the water it treats, compared to 50-70% for reverse osmosis. 

Project location

Project partners

  • Akvo Foundation
  • Ecological Management Foundation (EMF)
  • Voltea B.V.