Catalyst Fund, Network News

Catalyst: Twin Oaks Water Systems

Project Name: Project Genesis: Sustainable Sanitation & Reclaiming Desert for Agriculture
Location: Sahel, Africa


In sub-Saharan countries, over 80% of the economy is based on subsistence farming, but each year, almost 12 million hectares of arable land are lost due to drought and desertification. There are 20 million food insecure people in the region, and more than 7 million people in the region suffer from sanitation issues resulting from human waste contamination of available water sources.

Solution: ProjectGenesis will work to adapt a water evaporation process in order to treat wastewater, making it potable – while  producing byproducts that can be used for agricultural uses. When the unit isn’t in active use to treat wastewater, it can switch into a ‘water harvester,’ collecting moisture, even from dry air. This can then be developed into to potable water as well. Both methods will use UV disinfection to ensure safety.

What makes this approach different? This will be the one of the first large scale ‘water harvesters’ that  also treats contaminated groundwater and wastewater. Adapting existing desalination technology, ProjectGenesis will be able to increase the amount of potable water throughout the Sahel region. This distinctive process is also designed to run on renewable energy, and provide a ‘microgrid’ for local villages to access electricity.