Photon Water Technology, a subsidiary of Photon Energy NV, received a subsidy from the Czech Development Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic to develop and implement customised solutions to tackle the endemic lack of drinking and fresh water in small villages in Peru. The programme of Czech International Development Cooperation provides funding for a feasibility study “Technology for the production of drinking water in Peru” to develop technologies for the production of drinking water throughout Peru, where prolonged and repeated droughts as well as volcanic activity and mining activities have severely contaminated the sources of fresh water, endangering the health of the local population.
The project focuses on delivering small container-based water treatment units to supply municipalities of up to 1,000 inhabitants in the area of Tacna with safe drinking water. The feasibility study will present economically sound technical solutions as well as their evaluation for at least three model options. With the objective of increasing the economic efficiency and sustainability of the project and to maximize the use of local material and human resources, the project envisages the supply of special technology components from the EU. At the same time, locally available components and materials as well as installation works will be sourced from local partners in Peru. The core contribution of the Photon Water team is the system development and the provision of know-how. Customised cost-efficient equipment will have to be easy to install, operate and service by local resources.
The cost of the feasibility study totals CZK 497,050 (approx. EUR 19,000), 90% of which is covered by a subsidy from the Czech Development Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Upon completion of the feasibility study, Photon Water will invite commercial partners with an interest in the Peruvian market as well as local partner organisations to finance the implementation of the projects.
Given the pressing shortage of drinking water in Peru, water purification has been identified as a national priority by the Peruvian government and thus Photon Water’s initiative enjoys strong local support. According to a study by WHO (UNICEF) only 22 percent of rural residents in Peru are connected to water and sanitation infrastructure, while a source of fresh drinking water is accessible for less than half of the rural population in Peru. Waste and irrigation waters are currently not being treated, while underground water sources are repeatedly negatively affected by floods, volcanic activity and mining activity. As a result, water quality tests reveal high levels of toxic elements including heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury as well as salt. Photon Water’s experienced team is working to address these issues and to provide comprehensive services in the field of remediation of contaminated areas and ensuring clean drinking water supply.
The necessary contacts in Peru have been established during the trade mission organized by the Combined Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and the Pacific Alliance (ČESTA) in June 2017, when the project was first presented to the Peruvian Ministries of the Environment, Agriculture and Irrigation, Housing and Construction and Sanitation as well as to the National Office for Reconstruction and several local municipalities.
“Clean water like clean energy is essential to keep our environment safe and to promote sustainable development around the world,“ comments Dr Petr Kvapil, managing director of Photon Water Technology. “We see great potential in our activities in Peru and are grateful for the support provided by the Czech Development Agency, which helps us in the promotion of Czech know-how globally and in putting our expertise to good use for the benefit of the Peruvian people.“