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SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Mobile Water Purification Systems for Harsh Military Field Operations

Modern Watermakers Enhance Warfighters’ Safety and Mobility Water: The Challenges of Supply Convincing Troops of the Case for Bottled Water Designing Water Filtration Technology for the Future The Future of Water Supply for the Military Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


High Mobility

Certified Filters & Components

EMC Protected

Saves Lives & Money

Rapid Deployment

Military Track Record

PURE WATER. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. TACTICAL BENEFITS. SAFE WATER PURIFICATION.

Specifications 63 x 50 x 37 cm 25 x 20 x 15 inches 27 kg / 59.8 lbs

Sturdy travel suitcase 12V battery Control unit RO membranes UV disinfection light Solar panel

The BlueBox Suitcase models are delivered “plug’n’play” – ready for operation

PureH2O A/S Denmark Phone: +45 8020 8020 Email: pure@ellegaard.net

www.pureh2o.net


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Contents Foreword

2

Tom Cropper, Editor

Modern Watermakers Enhance Warfighters’ Safety and Mobility

3

Uffe Thrane Hejlesen, CCO. PureH2O A/S, Denmark

Re-Thinking Drinking Water Supply for Modern Tactical Operations Water Logistics Modernization: The Opportunity to Reduce Casualties and to Reduce Costs Filling the Gap Published by Global Business Media

Considerations for Choosing Modern, Portable Watermakers

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Ensuring Drinking Water Quality

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Enhanced Mobility in Small Tactical Force Deployment An Affordable and Flexible Solution Simplicity and Durability The Whole Water Scheme – It is Not Just About the Watermaker Reducing Waste of Limited Water Resources – Bluebox 4000

Publisher Kevin Bell

‘A Greener Defense’

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

Water: The Challenges of Supply

Editor Tom Cropper Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles. © 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

7

Tom Cropper, Editor

History of Water Supply Getting Water to the Troops

Convincing Troops of the Case for Bottled Water

9

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

The Supply of Water Alternatives Winning Hearts and Minds

Designing Water Filtration Technology for the Future 11 James Butler, Staff Writer

Delivering Water to the Troops Moving to Water Purification Portable Purification Units

The Future of Water Supply for the Military

13

Tom Cropper, Editor

Micro Discharge Technology Sensing Water Quality Water from the Air From Sea to Bottle Conclusion

References 15

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Foreword A

N ARMY marches on its stomach, so they

to be won in making sure that the transition to purified

say, but while soldiers can go for several days

water will not adversely affect the morale and wellbeing

without food, the same is not true of water. Keeping the troops hydrated is a major undertaking for armies, and with modern deployments often taking

of the forces. For that to happen, technologies not only have to deliver clean, pleasant tasting water, but they also have to be seen to do so.

place in some of the warmest and most demanding

The first article in this report focuses on the

environments, water requirements per man are

development of water purification technologies. Uffe

extremely high.

Thrane Hejlesen, CCO of Pure H2O A/S, Denmark –

Delivering water has traditionally focused on

one of the leading names in providing water purification

two methods - either supplying units with secure

systems, explains how the latest technologies are

drinking water from home or providing filtration

producing compact, robust and dependable solutions

techniques enabling them to source water from the

which provide water which exceeds the very best

local area in which they are deployed. Unfortunately

standards of water quality.

both have problems.

Elsewhere in this Report we’ll take a wider look at

Water supplies are costly, logistically challenging

the way in which water is supplied to the troops and

and, above all, dangerous. Reducing the number of

also some of the latest developments in purification

convoys, therefore, will be important in saving lives

technology which promise to bring down costs,

and keeping soldiers safe.

save lives and enable our military personnel to keep

To do this the military commanders are looking

operating in the toughest of environments.

increasingly to transition to water purification technologies in the field. But here they meet resistance from troops who prefer the pleasant tasting water sourced from home. As such there is a major PR battle

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Modern Watermakers Enhance Warfighters’ Safety and Mobility

BLUEBOX WATER PURIFICATION CONCEPT

Uffe Thrane Hejlesen, CCO. PureH2O A/S, Denmark

• Tactical benefits • EMC protected equipment

T

• One-man Portable units

ODAY, WATER filtration plants are widely used in military operations by the majority of national defense authorities worldwide. However, challenges persist in the choice of the right solutions in a complex operational environment, combined with recent challenges related to the consideration of economy, environment, changes in tactical warfare strategies, and, not the least, myths and fears about drinking water.

Re-Thinking Drinking Water Supply for Modern Tactical Operations Defense authorities are forced to change their structure in response to the change in modern warfare and the nature of its adversaries, the latter which cannot any longer be described as merely other nations. Defense operations are restructured into smaller, highly agile and specialized units, which are deployed for surgical, short-term operations or as part of a larger, multi-national collaboration scheme. Technological advances and constraints on defense economy call for the modernization of equipment to address a new operational context. The logistics and management of drinking water supplies require modernization into smaller, light-weight, flexible solutions, as opposed to the conventional large, often containerized, water purification plants widely used today. The BlueBox water purification concept by Pure H2O A/S provides a mature and proven response to the requirements for the modern drinking water supply scheme in squad/platoon to battalion sized field operations. Pure H2O is an innovative solution provider with focus on top-class water cleansing technology to defense forces, featuring a unique design and a range of field proven products. Pure H2O was pioneering water purification solutions even when reverse osmosis (RO) technology was at its early stage in the war theatre and virtually unrecognized as a viable alternative to bottled

• Adaptable to many power systems, including solar • Logistics optimization • Units built into sturdy box with standard dimensions • Compact and light-weight solutions • Logistics optimized foldable water tanks

PURE H2O A/S IN DENMARK HAS A LONG TRACK RECORD IN MODERN DRINKING WATER SOLUTIONS FOR

• Compact pump stations for raw water and drinking water

DEFENCE FORCES.

water (or worse; chlorinated disinfection of muddy waters) for expeditionary forces. The BlueBox water purification concept by Pure H2O is based on providing best-in-class quality equipment in the most compact, lightweight and simple to operate design for maximum mobility in the field. With the ability to extract drinkable water quality above World Health Organisation standards from virtually any brackish and saline surface water sources, the PureH2O solution is one of the cleanest and most economical solutions on the market. The ability to understand the complete camp water structure makes Pure H2O more than an innovative supplier of best-in-class watermaker equipment; The company becomes a unique partner to future solutions for water logistics in modern, tactical warfare. Operating from a small NATO country, the company has a history of designing its solutions for other countries, which results in solution models made for integration with a large variety of equipment with differing requirements. The headquarters and production facilities are located in Denmark, in close vicinity to Copenhagen. The impressive track record of the BlueBox design is unrivaled, having been deployed to more than 30 countries worldwide. The BlueBox water purification

• Rapid deployment • Certified filters and components • Long history in expeditionary operations

BlueBox450RO water purification

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

The BlueBox Water Purification Concept is the economical solution for agility in smaller tactical expeditionary forces

BLUEBOX 450RO MOBILE WATER PURIFIER

PURIFYING WATER ON THE GO

units are deployed by defense forces (e.g. British, Swedish and Norwegian Defense), emergency management agencies, humanitarian rapid relief organizations (Red Cross), and also within commercial sectors. The aim of Pure H2O is to provide the best possible solution to address the need for drinking water in very harsh, remote environments, such as natural and humanitarian disaster zones. The success of the BlueBox design lies in the compact, modular ‘water-in-a-box’ solution, optimized for the rapid deployment to any place in the world being plug and play ready to operate. The time to production of drinking water is an impressive 7 minutes after arrival to site (Swedish Defense Rapid Deployment test). No need to make time-consuming water testing for human consumption, since the purified water coming out of the BlueBox is of superior standard that can be trusted completely, utilizing fully tested technology with a long track record in the field. The design of the water purification flow has changed little due to its success, but the core technology and operational design has seen modernization, becoming more durable, more efficient and more versatile in the use for expeditionary field operations.

Several cases confirm the need for modernization of the water logistics, and not only from a cost efficiency perspective. One such is the case of the U.S. Marines deployment in Afghanistan, where bottled water supplies and water hauling convoys for 25.000 marines created a cost of USD 500.000 DAILY – not including the waste recovery and elimination of empty PET bottles – and it is estimated that 10% to 15% of casualties are related to the task of protecting convoys. By reducing the need for water supplies, the number of convoys is reduced and hence the level of casualties related to this task (National Defense Magazine, May 2011). Pure H2O has calculated that the Return on Investment (ROI) in this case would be roughly 0.5 days for the deployment of a camp water purification system including BlueBox water purifiers, with capacity to fulfill the daily water need. By going from large purification plants to smaller, tactical plants, the field operatives become more autonomous, and the need for convoys can be further reduced. This scheme also supports the requirement for smaller and more agile tactical operations, for which Pure H2O equipment is designed.

Water Logistics Modernization: The Opportunity to Reduce Casualties and to Reduce Costs

Unlike suppliers of conventional, containerized solutions, Pure H2O A/S has specialized in small scale, mobile water purifiers during the last decade. Catering to defense forces from smaller countries, where force specialization has been a requirement for many years, this company takes the lead in filling the gap in the market for highly mobile, man-portable, modern water purifiers to enhance the flexibility of special operations missions down to group/squad and platoon level.

The deployment of smaller, flexible, modern water purification units is imperative to enhance the mobility of special operations and hence the capability of the war fighter. Its implementation represents a huge reduction in the logistical costs for field operations compared to purchasing and moving bottled water, and at the same time enhancing the war fighters’ agility and safety. This is why the modernization of the water logistics scheme for tactical use should be prioritized to meet the challenges of creating a leaner and more capable force structure. 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

Filling the Gap

Considerations for Choosing Modern, Portable Watermakers Choosing a drinking water solution for field operations comes down to creating an environment


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

WATER PURIFICATION – A GREEN DEFENCE

where field staff have convenient, plentiful and secure access to drinking water without concern or doubt as to its quality. Such a scheme can be achieved today without having expensive logistics and skilled maintenance people operating, as is the case when the water supply is bottled water from the outside or through large and complex water purification plants.

Ensuring Drinking Water Quality The creation of drinking water quality from all kinds of surface water sources is perceived as a complex matter to the consumer, but solutions such as the BlueBox concept from Pure H2O makes it a simple task. The core of the modern water purifier is the application of a proven membrane technology of reverse osmosis (RO) purification for cleaning the water and is widely used in several industries for different purposes. The reverse osmosis purification membranes are known to effectively provide water quality above international standard guidelines for drinking water, even when the source water is heavily contaminated. Purified water by RO has had a bad reputation having been linked to bad taste and odor. This is not the case with the BlueBox concept, which is proven by a long track record of international deployments, and where the users have come to trust this solution over others. Bad taste and odor from source water can be remedied easily by applying simple features to the watermaker such as Active Carbon filters, which is standard in the BlueBox concept. Doubts about how it affects the human body, concerning the low mineral levels in the RO water have diminished, while re-mineralization of RO water is an option where such doubts persist. The first and foremost feature of BlueBox watermakers is the effectiveness in removing contaminants in the water even over time. The RO membranes of today do not deteriorate during their recommended time of use, providing a crucial safety

feature to the consumer. While the purified drinking water quality persists, the membranes can clog up and produce less water. The BlueBox concept offers a range of second barrier safety features to sustain quality of the solution, and to further the safety of the drinking water through Ultra-Violet Disinfection and/or Post-Chlorination.

Enhanced Mobility in Small Tactical Force Deployment Imagine purifying water on the go. The need to haul water, even at squad level, is reduced greatly by being able to purify water on the spot. Mobile BlueBox RO watermakers are the most compact and smallest of their kind. The design is built on standard dimension sturdy transport cases in varying sizes, all optimized for transport. Responding to new requirements, Pure H2O has developed the 1-man portable ruggedized suitcase design of less than 30 kg (66 lbs), which provides up to 1200 liters per day (315 USgal per day). At 10 L (2.6 USgal) drinking water per day per person it will sustain up to 120 operatives. The unit has an integrated solar power generator with foldable solar panels for complete autonomy. For base camp or FOBs the BlueBox 1200RO watermaker delivers up to 1200 Lph (315 USgal per hour), or 10L/ 2.6 USgal for 2800 operatives. And it fits on the back of a Toyota Hilux, where other systems are much larger.

The green footprint of military operations is improved through the application of mobile BlueBox water purifiers and at the same time it modernizes the tactical capabilities of expeditionary missions. • Carbon emissions from the energy consumption for making PET bottles and treating the PET waste are greatly reduced. • Carbon-based fuel consumption for convoys and their protection is reduced. • Water purification and distribution can be solar powered, reducing the need for fuel based power generators for this task. • Reduce waste of water resources by re-cycling water supplies.

Simplicity and Durability The water purifier can be operated by unskilled people to reduce and optimize resources on mission. The risk of human or technical error must be as low as possible, which becomes a challenge in harsh, remote – even hostile – environments. This element is a core feature of the BlueBox design, where operational knowledge is reduced to basically pressing the ON/OFF button, and the low-tech design has proven invaluable for durability and reduced maintenance needs, the latter mainly relating to minor plumbing tasks. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 5

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

The patented BlueBox 4000 is a specialized 2-box system, designed and developed with defense partners for military deployment

The Whole Water Scheme – It is Not Just About the Watermaker The water capacity building exercise for a base camp or Forward Operating Base includes raw water storage, drinking water storage (bulk and personal) and tapping facilities. Power generation and water chilling may also be a consideration. Maintaining water hygiene to avoid re-contamination until Point-Of-Use is a major concern, and must be addressed when applying on-site water purification solutions. Through its history of collaborating closely with defense forces and emergency management agencies, Pure H2O has extensive experience in complete water purification, storage and distribution for field camps.

BLUEBOX 1200 WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM WITH WATER STORAGE TANKS

The watermakers must be flexible and versatile, and able to integrate with other surrounding equipment in the camp; e.g. storage, chilling, distribution/tapping and power generation. Pure H2O can operate as a solution provider including food grade approved collapsible drinking water tanks which are designed for logistics optimization. The BlueBox design has standard international dimensioned couplings and fittings for maximum inter-connection to the surrounding camp water infrastructure, and will operate on solar energy, batteries, grid and conventional power gen-sets, thereby reducing the risk of not being able to find alternate power sources in the event such is needed. The risk of re-contamination is reduced greatly by designing the complete camp water scheme from raw water to Points-Of-Use, making sure that all components are certified for drinking water and easy to understand and assemble. Solutions such as the BlueBox 4000 give the operators more options to treat the water resources and to reduce waste of water resources.

The system maintains the BlueBox purification concept and, in addition, offers maximum operational flexibility for a number of reasons through its modular design, where the RO-module is separated from the pump and pre-filtration phases, each in its own box. The modularity features a 3-in-1 solution to improve the flexibility of the camp water scheme: 1: The 2-box BlueBox 4000 watermaker purifies and stores drinking water. 2: If stored drinking water is suspected of having been re-contaminated by bacteria and other micro-biological pathogens: By-passing the RO-module box, the stored water is sent through the powerful Ultra-violet disinfection system thereby removing any micro-biological contamination. Thus, the potentially scarce water resource can be recovered 100% (where RO processes normally involve a 50% loss). 3: Where stored water is chlorinated to avoid recontamination, but operatives do not find the chlorinated water palatable: The stored water is sent through an over-sized Activated Carbon area, which removes the chlorine and makes the water clear, odorless and tasty again. The BlueBox 4000 improves on maintenance time, since the RO-module box can be easily replaced with a new RO-module box when the membranes are expended. Its footprint (deployed) is merely 2.5 sqm (27 sq ft) and it purifies up to 96 cbm (25,400 USgal) per day.

‘A Greener Defense’

Reducing Waste of Limited Water Resources – Bluebox 4000

The green footprint of military operations is improved through the application of mobile BlueBox water purifiers and, at the same time, it modernizes the tactical capabilities of expeditionary missions. Environmental key performance indicators are further reduced by implementing a sound water logistics scheme. – Carbon emissions from the energy consumption in making PET bottles and treating the PET waste are greatly reduced. – Carbon-based fuel consumption for convoys and their protection is reduced. – Water purification and distribution can be solar powered, reducing the need for fuel based power generators for this task. – The waste of water resources by re-cycling water supplies is reduced. Pure H2O has the proven capability to meet the new challenges demanded by the need for agility in smaller tactical expeditionary forces, by providing an economical and environmentally friendly modern water concept.

The patented BlueBox 4000 is a specialized 2-box system for military deployment and developed with defense partners. This system is unique for its Electro-Magnetic-Current (EMC) protection.

Pure H2O A/S www.pureh2o.net E-mail: pure@ellegaard.net

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Water: The Challenges of Supply MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION CONCEPT REDUCES COST AND CASUALTIES

Tom Cropper, Editor

Water supply has always been a major issue for armies, but now new technology is helping to bring down risks and reduce the overall cost.

M

UCH HAS changed in warfare over the centuries, but the one thing that remains the same is the desperate need for water. Without it, any army, no matter how big, powerful or advanced, will come to a grinding halt for, while soldiers can go for several days without food, they need a constant water supply each and every day. Finding ways to keep mobile armies fed and watered, therefore, has been a constant source of anxiety to commanders for thousands of years. Today the challenge is every bit as severe. A more mobile military force is operating in theatres in some of the remote and most challenging environments on the Earth. At the same time, the need for more cost efficient approaches is driving demand for innovation.

History of Water Supply Commanders have been scratching their heads about how to keep their troops watered ever since ancient times. Back then, Egyptian or Greek armies would transport water in large pottery jugs. However, these had predictable drawbacks in that they could easily be smashed. In later years the Gauls and the Romans would make use of wooden barrels transported by horse and cart. This method remained popular for centuries until the British army in the 19th century began developing more advanced systems, including the invention of percussion drilling rigs, which were able to source water from natural underground reservoirs. Being able to source water on site enabled the army to go farther and faster than they ever had done before. It reduced the logistical challenges and vulnerability of supply lines. Today the equipment has become much more advanced, but the choices are essentially the same. Do you undertake the challenge of shipping large volumes of water to military bases and forward operating units, or do you attempt to secure water from local sources? If it’s the former you’ll need to ensure the supply lines are able to deliver regular supplies of water at the required

amount, and if it’s the latter you’ll need to ensure you can secure adequate reserves of reliable drinking water. The task of delivering water is formidable as the UK Ministry of Defence’s own guidelines indicate. These tasks are carried out by members of the Royal Engineers Corps who will have to identify factors such as the type of deployment and location. For example, areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq see soldiers working in conditions of high heat and humidity. This significantly increases the need for water1. In addition, they will also have to take into account the types of uses such as medical, drinking, cleaning, decontamination and food preparation. Supplies will also have to be adequate not only for key military personnel, but also some local people and any captured prisoners of war. In transporting water, logistics personnel will have to consider not only the volume but the weight. At 8.3 pounds per gallon, water it extremely heavy, so weight restrictions will swiftly come into play. The type of container will also be important. Smaller cans might be easier to store. However, they warm up quickly rendering the water undrinkable.

• Portable Water purifiers and FOB camp water solutions • Fewer convoys equals fewer casualties • Reduces expensive bottled water supply • Most mobile RO water purifiers on the market • Unskilled personnel can operate BlueBox • No chemicals needed for water production

Getting Water to the Troops Water can be delivered to the troops in a variety of ways. Jerry cans can be loaded into military 4x4s and transported onsite. In those areas where supply by road is not possible, water is airlifted in, but this can become a major undertaking. In Afghanistan 60% of air freight was water supply as the task of keeping the troops hydrated became all consuming. In forward operating bases there was a huge reliance on airlifts by helicopter – a practice which was not only highly challenging, but also extremely expensive. The solution was to source water from the local area. How challenging this might be depends on the field of operations. In Iraq the relatively abundant supply of surface water made securing water a comparatively simple operation. However, in Afghanistan, water was buried deep underground requiring the digging WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Delivering bottled water to the troops costs approximately $4.69 per gallon with the daily water requirements of each marine being around 5.3 gallons (for all their water uses)

THE MOBILE PURE H2O BLUEBOX EASILY FITS ONTO A STANDARD TRUCK, MAKING IT THE IDEAL SOLUTION FOR QUICK DEPLOYMENT IN REMOTE AREAS.

of multiple bore holes and the establishment of water treatment plants. The largest of these can be seen at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province where an MOD owned water bottling facility produces 48,000 bottles of water each and every day from four separate boreholes. According to Colin Howell, who manages the facility, the savings have been enormous. “From one pallet-load of preforms we can make 11 pallets of full-sized bottles,” he says. “I reckon that since 2007 that has saved the MOD having to pay for around 5,000 truck load deliveries. Add in the cost of security for deliveries, and that’s quite a saving.2” Meanwhile a 2009 article in the Daily Mail estimates that the plant, which cost £11million to build saves the MOD around £18million in overall costs3. The US marines are also looking at extracting more from local sources, despite soldiers preferring the taste of bottled water. However, the prohibitive cost of shipping bottled water out to remote locations is becoming unsustainable. According to a study by the defense department, delivering bottled water to the troops costs

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approximately $4.69 per gallon with the daily water requirements of each marine being around 5.3 gallons (for all their water uses). Supplying water to approximately 20,000 troops costs almost $500,000 per day.4 The solution, therefore, is to extract more water from the ground and from the surface. However, this presents another problem. This water contains numerous chemicals which are not safe for human consumption. As a result, there is a pressing need to deliver effective water purification facilities to forward operating bases. Water purification can happen in a number of different ways from simple tablets to remove small levels of impurities, to large scale processing plants that filter and remove harmful bacteria and chemicals. By sourcing water in this way, the army can save hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, quality is extremely important. As well as being clean and drinkable it also needs to be palatable. Colin Howell, manager of the Helmand Province bottling plant believes the water he produces can match any kind of mineral water found elsewhere in the world. That’s the kind of standard they have to shoot for.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Convincing Troops of the Case for Bottled Water AGILE & SAFE WATER PURIFICATION

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

Supplying troops with water in the field is a costly business which is why many commanders favour a switch from delivering bottled water supplies to local filtered water. However, the question is: can they convince the troops?

T

HE US military has always been highly reliant on bottled water and in recent years its use has increased even further due to its ease of storage, logistical flexibility and popularity with the troops. However, what has surprised many commanders is the frequency with which it has been used even when troops are operating away from their forward operating bases. Although, securing water from local water sources represents a more flexible, cost efficient and simpler way of supplying the troops with water, troops still seem to prefer their bottled water supply. With costs escalating to unsustainable levels, though, commanders are increasingly looking to switch to production techniques which can allow them to secure water in-situ. However, for this to really take hold, there is one group that needs to be convinced – the troops.

effectiveness of the military in overseas operations of battle. “The U.S. military’s reliance on bottled water in current military operations hinders our ability to apply key elements of Operational Design, and thus limits options in support of our mission within all phases of the campaign.”5 Using bottled water has numerous problems. 1. It is expensive: According to this same report, bottled water costs $5 per bottle to transport putting it in the same ballpark, cost wise, as fuel. 2. Logistics are challenging: The military is operating in some of the most hostile terrain in the world. Delivering water in sufficient volumes to these regions can be highly challenging. 3. The environment: Bottled water in plastic, nonbiodegradable bottles creates a vast waste stream which is difficult to control.

The Supply of Water

Alternatives

Water is crucial to any military campaign and is one of the major logistical headaches of commanders. The way in which it is supplied has a major influence on what’s referred to as operation reach – namely the distance and duration over which a military force can sustain operations. Logistical support in delivering water represents a major drag on operational reach. Finding a way in which logistical support can be reduced without an impact on cost can be crucial to delivering substantial improvements. In armies around the world, and particularly the USA, there has been a strong reliance on bottled water. However, with advanced filtration techniques, which can provide high quality drinkable water from local water sources, the military’s reliance on bottled water has, if anything, grown over the past ten years. This presents a logistical issue. According to a 2011 report into the reliance of the US military into bottled water, it has reduced the operational

Such issues have prompted commanders to take a serious look at alternatives – and in particular securing water from local water sources. This can be done either by purifying water from surface water or locating and detecting sources at depth and extracting. The big advantage is cost. A major £11 million bottling facility in Helmand Province is reported to have saved the British army approximately £20 million so far. 6 It also lessens the logistical challenge of transporting water which, in turn, reduces the exposure of supply convoys to attack. The most common form is known as Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration. This comprises several steps. First, water needs to be filtered to remove particles such a soil or rust from pipes. It can then be filtered again through a medium such as carbon to reduce the amounts of smaller particles, chemicals and chlorine. Finally, the water is passed through an RO membrane and

PureH2O has the proven capability to meet the new challenges demanded by the need for agility in smaller tactical expeditionary forces, resulting in an economical and modern water concept, with a consideration for the environment. • Proven concept from 30 countries • Fastest Rapid Deployment time • Designed for harsh environments

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

It is a battle of hearts and minds. RO filtration units must be faultless and every single bottle of water supplied to the troops must meet the very highest of specifications

PUREH2O FIELD TESTING A BLUEBOX 1200 WITH SOURCE WATER FROM A LAKE IN UGANDA.

can also be treated with UV light to ensure all harmful substances are removed from the water. Depending on the level of local water supplies, RO units are able to produce enough water to supply approximately 6,000 troops per unit.7

Winning Hearts and Minds However, this has a PR problem: the troops don’t like it. They do not trust local water sources or filtration techniques to remove all the harmful products found in local water sources. Equally, they are suspicious of local water standards which in many cases do not reach the standards found back home. Finally, RO water filters have a reputation for removing some useful chemicals and providing water which is high in chlorine and exhibits a poor taste. Bottled water, meanwhile, is something they recognize, trust and understand. The clear plastic water bottles project a sense of purity and cleanliness. In short they are simply more comfortable. In large part these issues are unfounded. The military is obligated to supply water which adheres to the same water quality standards found back home. Many of the latest technologies have addressed the taste issues with minerals being reintroduced into water – if necessary – after the filtration process. Even so, the perception problem persists and for many commanders that is enough to justify sticking with bottled water for the time being. Troop morale is a major factor in determining the success or failure of any mission. If troops remain

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suspicious about filtered water, then the additional cost involved in the transportation of bottled water will still be considered worthwhile. Bottled water will also continue to play an important role, no matter how effective and advanced filtration systems get, especially in the early stages of deployment and when water is being supplied to local populations. At this stage water filtration processes may not be in place so, until they are, bottled water supply will be necessary. Even so, a tipping point is being reached. The cost and logistical challenges involved with transporting water are becoming unsustainable to such an extent that they can, in certain circumstances, endanger the success of an operation. It is in the interests, therefore, of new products to come to market and prove their efficacy in the field. It is a battle of hearts and minds. RO filtration units must be faultless and every single bottle of water supplied to the troops must meet the very highest of specifications. Even a small deficiency in quality can lead to illness spreading rapidly throughout the force. Developers of the latest products go to considerable lengths to demonstrate the quality of their products, saying that they deliver a product which as good – or better than – the bottled mineral water troops are used to back home. However, as the old saying goes: seeing is believing. Troops will never fully trust filtered water until they witness it working with their own eyes.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Designing Water Filtration Technology for the Future BLUEBOX WATER PURIFICATION CONCEPT

James Butler, Staff Writer

How water purification companies are working to develop the next generation of technologies.

• Tactical benefits • EMC protected equipment

T

HE SUPPLY of water to the troops is becoming a critical issue with the cost becoming a significant barrier to success. In order to bring down expense and reduce the amount of convoys taking to dangerous routes, substantial investment is being dedicated to improved water filtration technology suitable for military use. These devices will have to be portable, robust and able to filter successfully even the most highly contaminated water supplies.

Delivering Water to the Troops Ensuring all forward operating units are kept supplied with water away from the main base is a major task. It is undertaken by the Engineering Corps who travel head of the main forces, scouting local available water sources and, when possible, ensuring that infrastructure is in place before the rest of the force arrives. If securing local water sources is not possible, then the only other option will be to rely on bottled water supplied from base. The first task is to establish an initial watering point as far forward as possible. From here it must be transported in lorries or 4x4s, which will be making daily trips between the initial watering point and the forward troops. Maintaining these supplies is a huge drain on resources. A US Department of Defense study found that meeting a daily water demand of 5.2 gallons per day for around 20,000 troops would cost around $500,0008. Taken for the entire size of the army in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere this represents a major proportion of the overall cost of going to war. As well as being expensive, these convoys are vulnerable to attack and IEDs. A study by the Army Environmental Policy Institute, entitled: “Sustain the mission project: casualty factors for fuel and water resupply convoys”, puts the casualty rate at 0.42 – which represents 0.42 for every resupply convoy. It stands to reason, therefore, that reducing the number of convoys will have a very real impact on saving lives9.

• One-man Portable units

Moving to Water Purification The combination of financial and human costs is prompting forces around the world to develop mobile, portable water purification technologies. These strategies must do several things: first of all they must ensure that water supplies to local populations are not adversely affected; secondly they must produce water that is both safe and palatable. These two things are not always the same. It is possible for a glass of water to be cloudy in appearance, unpleasant to taste, but at the same time be safe. Equally, it is possible for water to be crystal clear and tasty, but to carry water-borne pathogens which can be harmful. There are several different methods of water purification available to troops on the ground. At the personal scale, there are portable water purification bottles. These can be dipped into local water sources such as puddles or rivers and filled with raw water. While in the bottle this water is held in an unclean state, which means theoretically it can be stored indefinitely. When ready to drink, the water is passed through a filter and can be released at high pressure. This enables the drinker to use the water for cleaning wounds and also means it is not necessary to place one’s mouth over the water bottle, which can lead to contamination. These bottles are particularly common for use with the British Army and they recently donated some of this equipment to the Nepalese Army to help with disaster relief. They provided 115 specially designed Jerry Cans and 99 bottles from the company lifesaver, which they say will provide enough water for 80,000 people to survive for over a week after a natural disaster.10

• Adaptable to many power systems, including solar • Logistics optimization • Units built into sturdy box with standard dimensions • Compact and light-weight solutions • Logistics optimized foldable water tanks • Compact pump stations for raw water and drinking water • Rapid deployment • Certified filters and components • Long history in expeditionary operations

Portable Purification Units However, for more large scale deployments, water purification units will need to be supplied. These need to be able to deliver water needs for a relatively long term deployment in the field, while also occupying minimum weight. Some of the more lightweight units can be simply transported in a 4x4 and be up and running in minutes.

BlueBox450RO water purification

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

The units use a form of reverse osmosis filtration, which is capable of producing clean water even from highly contaminated water sources

THIS COMPACT PURE H2O INSTALLATION – WITH A VERY SMALL FOOTPRINT OF ONLY 4M2 – DELIVERS 30.000 LITRES OF CLEAN DRINKING WATER PER DAY AND HAS A STORAGE CAPACITY OF 2.000 LITRES.

A good example of one of the latest developments is the BlueBox 4000 unit. This comes in two small cubic boxes both of which are 1.2 x 1.2 meters and can be stacked to fit in relatively small containers. Just one unit is capable of producing 90m3 per day.11 The units use a form of reverse osmosis filtration, which is capable of producing clean water even from highly contaminated water sources. However, using this technology comes up against an old problem. RO water has a reputation for delivering a poor taste and for removing certain natural chemicals, found in water. The challenge, therefore, is to devise a solution which addresses this issue. The makers of BlueBox, Pure H2O A/S, based in Denmark, say they’ve solved this by introducing active carbon filters, which produce a better taste and, when there are still issues, re mineralization can return many of the beneficial minerals lost during the filtration process.

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The final problem is being able to work in remote areas. This requires units which are relatively small and portable and which can provide reliable functionality. This means having access to a dependable power supply. To ensure this, manufacturers are now producing units powered by renewable energies such as wind and solar – both of which are plentiful in desert warfare deployments, common in modern warfare. Innovations are continuing and it is likely that there will be significant development in the type of filter medium used and also the size and portability of the systems. By doing so, convoys are reduced, as are operating costs, which enable the military to extend the operational reach and deployment of their mission. In the final article of this Report, we’ll look ahead at what the future might hold and how armies are researching new methods of providing clean, palatable water to the troops.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

The Future of Water Supply for the Military WATER PURIFICATION – A GREEN DEFENCE

Tom Cropper, Editor

How the latest technology is being put to use helping armies to secure reliable, drinkable water supplies on the move.

I

T IS sometimes true that the smallest of things can bring even the greatest and most advanced armies to a shuddering halt. For the US military that small thing is water, which is predictably vital for military operations around the world. The problem is that keeping the troops fed and watered is becoming prohibitively expensive. Bottled water has long been the preferred option of the troops but in order to extend operational effectiveness and affordability commanders are having to look at alternatives. The most obvious of these is sourcing water from the local environment, but in order for this to happen this water not only needs to be safe to drink, it also needs to be as palatable. This article will focus on some of the new developments and projects taking place around the world.

Micro Discharge Technology For the US army, technology that can deliver clean, drinkable and palatable water is a major priority. Through the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program, it has invested approximately $750,000 into the development of a portable micro discharge ozone generator which can decontaminate water. The technology uses lasers and ozone gas to decontaminate water supplies and works by replacing harmful chemicals and bacteria with harmless oxygen or argon. Such technology already exists, but it is hoped that this new development will deliver superior power, enabling it to achieve superior results to anything that has gone before. Dr Steve Adams, the Air Force Research Laboratory researcher who is managing the project said: “Maturation of this technology is expected to result in portable water purification systems for remote airfields as well as portable biological and chemical agent decontamination devices12.”

As well as funding from the STTR, the project has benefited from $300,000 from the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office and additional funds will be pursued as the technology approaches maturity. It demonstrates both the willingness of the armed forces to invest in new and unproven technologies as well as the necessity of doing so. Achieving the goals of remote water purification, requires a significant advance in technology to deliver high quality, portable and flexible products that can not only increase the effectiveness of water purification but enable forces to be more mobile in doing so. Much of this technology comes from small businesses who require support in taking their concepts from the developmental stage to a point where they are commercially viable.

Sensing Water Quality While purification technology is important, effective sensing equipment that can detect water quality is also crucial in making sure water used for drinking reaches the very best standards. Historically, locating robust sensing systems has been a challenge for the military but potential exists in the development of traveling wave electrophoresis – a separation method that makes it highly suited to monitoring water contaminants. An electric field wave pushes ions through a solution as an electric field works its way through a microfluidic channel. The speed of this field is close to the maximum speed at which the ions can travel. This technology is at an extremely early stage in terms of military use, but its potential is being investigated in a paper for Zyn Systems13.

The green footprint of military operations is improved through the application of mobile BlueBox water purifiers and at the same time it modernizes the tactical capabilities of expeditionary missions. • Carbon emissions from the energy consumption for making PET bottles and treating the PET waste are greatly reduced. • Carbon-based fuel consumption for convoys and their protection is reduced. • Water purification and distribution can be solar powered, reducing the need for fuel based power generators for this task. • Reduce waste of water resources by re-cycling water supplies.

Water from the Air Another interesting development comes in the form of an innovative approach which aims to extract water from the air. An Israeli company, Watergen, has developed a system which filters the air so that water can be separated into WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

As well as land forces, the navy also has considerable water requirements. For them the solution lies all around them – in the sea on which they sail THE PURE H2O WATER PURIFICATION SHOWS A CLEAR VISIBLE DIFFERENCE IN THE QUALITY OF WATER.

BLUEBOX 1200 CAMOUFLAGED FOR EXPEDITIONARY MISSIONS

containers. This can then be cooled and purified to deliver drinkable water for troops. The device has undergone trials with the US military and, according to its makers, can produce 10 to 20 gallons of drinkable water per day. Their CEO, Arye Kohavi believes that this approach can reduce the amount of convoys in action across Afghanistan which, in turn, can reduce the vulnerability to attack. “Water transportation is one of the most common reasons for the departure of convoys across Afghanistan,” he explained. “These convoys are attacked and have casualties.” He adds that “if we can produce the water at the exact point where it is consumed, we spare the need to transport water and reduce the risk and expenses14.”

From Sea to Bottle As well as land forces, the navy also has considerable water requirements. For them the solution lies all around them – in the sea on which they sail. Rather than rely on stored water brought with them, the navy has been using onboard

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desalination plants for many years now. These use reverse osmosis filtration to deliver clear and drinkable water for the crew. However, there is an ongoing need to increase the efficiency of these systems to reduce energy consumption and cost and to increase the amount of water produced. Dr J Paul Armistead, an officer with the US Office of Naval Research who specializes in water purification, outlines the current problem. “From current Navy desalination systems we only get 20 percent product water,” he said. “That means for 1,000 gallons of feed water, we would get only 200 gallons product water. These new systems will likely double that15.” Improving that figure has been a priority for the Navy ever since 2004 under the Expeditionary Unit Water Purification Program, which has developed a series of progressively more advanced products for onboard water purification products.

Conclusion These represent just a few current projects to improve water purification for military use. Each one has the common aim of improving the quality of water supply, reducing cost and operational risk, which enables combat forces to operate more effectively in even the most remote locations. However, although the technology is becoming more advanced and effective, they still face the same challenges: to produce drinkable water that is palatable to the troops and attains the same water quality as bottled mineral water. Developers of these systems believe that in many cases they have already achieved this goal, so perhaps the next important hurdle is to demonstrate as much to the troops.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

References: Water Usage in Desert Operations:

1

http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/desert_operations/water-usage-in-desert-ope.shtml

2

Supplying troops in Helmand with Water:

http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/desert_operations/water-usage-in-desert-ope.shtml

3

Eau Camp Bastion:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211472/Eau-Camp-Bastion-Army-experts-solve-riddle-finding-water-desert.html

4

Marines Take Steps to Avoid Costly Bottled Water Supply:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2011/May/Pages/MarinesTakeStepstoAvoidCostlyBottledWaterResupply.aspx

The US Reliance on Bottled Water: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a545433.pdf

6

Eau Camp Bastion: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211472/Eau-Camp-Bastion-Army-experts-solve-riddle-finding-water-desert.html

7

Reverse Osmosis: http://www.wateringplace.com/types-of-water/reverse-osmosis/reverse-osmosis/

Marines take steps to avoid costly bottled water supply:

5

8

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2011/May/Pages/MarinesTakeStepstoAvoidCostlyBottledWaterResupply.aspx 9

10

Casualty Costs of Fuel and Water Resupply: http://www.army-technology.com/features/feature77200 Britain Gives Lifesaver Water Equipment to Nepal Army:

https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/britain-gives-lifesaver-water-filtration-equipment-to-nepal-army 11

12

Blue Box Concept: http://www.pureh2o.net/safe-drinking-water-solutions Air force SBIR / STTR: http://www.afsbirsttr.com/Portal.aspx

13

Next Generation Sensors for Water Quality Systems: http://www.zyn.com/sbir/sbres/sbir/dod/army/a15-050.htm

14

Israeli Technology turns air into drinking water: http://nocamels.com/2012/02/israeli-technology-turns-air-into-drinking-water-for-military-troops/

15

Desalination Technology Increases Naval Capabilities: http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2009/desalination-water-purification.aspx

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN MOBILE WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR HARSH MILITARY FIELD OPERATIONS

Notes:

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High Mobility

Certified Filters & Components

EMC Protected

Saves Lives & Money

Rapid Deployment

Military Track Record

PURE WATER. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. TACTICAL BENEFITS. SAFE WATER PURIFICATION.

Specifications 63 x 50 x 37 cm 25 x 20 x 15 inches 27 kg / 59.8 lbs

Sturdy travel suitcase 12V battery Control unit RO membranes UV disinfection light Solar panel

The BlueBox Suitcase models are delivered “plug’n’play” – ready for operation

PureH2O A/S Denmark Phone: +45 8020 8020 Email: pure@ellegaard.net

www.pureh2o.net


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Innovations in Mobile Water Purification Systems for Harsh Military Field Operations  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Mobile Water Purification Systems for Harsh Military Field Operations

Innovations in Mobile Water Purification Systems for Harsh Military Field Operations  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Mobile Water Purification Systems for Harsh Military Field Operations