Our Portfolio: How three new partnerships are helping to solve the water challenge

Published on: 28/02/2019




Our Portfolio: How three new partnerships are helping to solve the water challenge

One of the most pressing issues addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the lack of clean, safe water available to millions of households across the globe. As we near World Water Day on the 22nd March, we take a look at how TRANSFORM is joining its mission to ‘leave no one behind’ with a growing portfolio in water access and behaviour change.

In 2018, TRANSFORM launched an Open Call for social innovators to make a global impact. Aligned with SDG 6, one of the challenges sought to address the water crisis in low-income communities. Two of the five grantees selected are working specifically to provide clean drinking water for households in Bangladesh.

Drinkwell and Folia Water are two new projects in our portfolio set to receive funding and support from TRANSFORM, along with Spring Health, whose goal is to deliver affordable clean drinking water to underserved people in India.

A growing water portfolio

Drinkwell, Folia Water and Spring Health are now incorporated in the TRANSFORM portfolio, as part of our central goal to drive progress to meet the SDGs. These market-based solutions join projects such as the Sunlight Water Centres, with the shared objective of providing millions of people with access to safe drinking water through inclusive business.

This year, we are excited to support even more projects looking to make an impact to the lives of underserved households. With this month’s spotlight on water, we share more how TRANSFORM is supporting exciting social enterprises to improve access and uptake of safe drinking water where it’s needed most.

  • Measuring adoption

Looking to turn South Asia’s water crisis into an entrepreneurial opportunity, Drinkwell was launched in 2013 to provide access to affordable sources of clean drinking water. Based on a micro-franchise model, the Drinkwell technology removes contaminants from water using a gravity-fed process, which reduces energy costs and wasted water by more than 95% compared to other technologies. With the support of TRANSFORM, the project will test a new content platform and technology, to assess uptake and measure the adoption of safe water drinking services in Bangladesh.

  • Distributing filtered water

TRANSFORM will help Folia Water focus on distributing and marketing its product: silver-infused filter papers that filter water at the cost of less than a penny a day. Patent pending, the filter papers eliminate bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in order to make water safe to drink for low-income consumers. A wholesale technology manufacturer, its business model is to sell the simple filters to consumer goods distributors with the expertise and know-how to handle local distribution.

  • Scaling and creating demand

With the goal of reaching 100 million underserved people, Spring Health currently delivers affordable, safe drinking water to 150,000 customers in hundreds of villages in Eastern India1. The project is founded on partnerships with kiosks, called kirana shops, and incentive-based profit sharing with local entrepreneurs to treat and sell safe water to their communities. TRANSFORM’s funding will allow Spring Health to scale operations by identifying suitable villages, installing water treatment kiosks, train local entrepreneurs, create demand through social marketing and monitor sales.

Among the many projects in our portfolio, Drinkwell, Folia Water and Spring Health are our most recent grantees whose aim is to accomplish SDG 6, one of the most pressing challenges we face today: to provide universal access to safe drinking water.


1Forbes, This Octogenarian Still Innovates To End Extreme Poverty: https://www.forbes.com/sites/devinthorpe/2019/02/01/this-octogenarian-still-innovating-to-end-extreme-poverty/#4d316f4f6070