I-Drop Water makes a splash providing purified water to South Africans
For Petunia Mohale, safe drinking water was not a given.
Mohale was one of approximately 300 million people in Africa who do not have access to safe drinking water.
Steere and Kate Thiers Steere founded I-Drop Water as an alternative solution to make safe drinking water affordable and accessible for people like Mohale in South Africa and the African continent.
I-Drop purification systems are installed in any grocery store with access to a running tap, at no cost to the shop owner.
Customers can then purchase safe drinking water for just R1 per litre – an approximate 80% discount on bottled water.
“We’ve removed these capital cost barriers by making it [the filtration system] free for any grocery store to install in their shop and start selling.” In the months after installing the machine, Mohale sold around five bottles of filtered water a day, with more on the weekends.
While an I-Drop technician is available to repair the machine should it malfunction, Thiers Steere is typically able to address any technical problems remotely via the machine’s cellular-based platform and the data she receives from it.
Ultimately, I-Drop aims to be an environmentally friendly, affordable alternative to the bottled water industry and a practical solution to deteriorating water infrastructure.
According to the South African Institute of Civil Engineering’s Infrastructure Report Card 2011, the replacement value of the water resources infrastructure was R139 billion.
Steere and Thiers Steere believe in the eventual scalability of I-Drop throughout Africa and elsewhere.