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project proposal

Cost-efficient Water Purification for Rural Communities in Moldova

Project Summary The BioApa project ( aims to provide disconnected rural communities (with the special focus on the ones residing in the River BĂŽc basin) with clean water by developing an innovative water purification system that is sustainable and cost effective. This system will be designed to treat typical hazardous chemical and organic contaminants, including the removal of nitrates. The possibility of retrofitting the BioApa system to existing water supply networks is planned to be incorporated into the design. Ultimately as a result of the project the rural communities in the River BĂŽc basin and further the whole Moldova will benefit from clean denitrificated drinking water supply delivered in a cost effective way by the BioApa biofilters incorporated into water supply network.

Target Problem The problem addressed is the lack of access to high prices of commercial water purification techsafe drinking water in rural Moldovan communi- nologies that these people usually cannot afford ties. and from lack of knowledge and skills to build ones. For example, a commercial water purifiFrom one side they are exposed to water pollution cation filter (reverse osmosis technology) costs and low quality of water management services around 50 - 100 EUR (Supraten, 2014. Catalog the most, as they are highly dependent on drink- produse), while the construction and installation ing water supply in rural areas, where access to of a no-less-efficient DIY one sums up to about professional water supply network is limited or 20 - 30 EUR. As a result, rural communities connonexistent. Approximately 95% of groundwater tinue to live in poverty and suffer from water conresources in the Moldova are contaminated by tamination and illnesses caused by it. waste pollutants (waste toxins, heavy metals, petroleum products, and nitrates), while more than The BioApa project focuses initially on the com70% of population use groundwater as primary munities residing in the River BĂŽc basin as one drinking water supply. This causes a series of ill- of the most heavily polluted water resources in nesses and increases the rate of morbidity in the Moldova, and then is scaled up to other areas in country (Huggoson, H.; Larnholt, K. 2010. Water the country. It also targets specifically water polquality and sanitation in rural Moldova). lution by nitrates, as this is the major pollutant in Moldovan water sources due to extensive unsusFrom another side rural communities in Moldo- tainable agricultural practices in Moldova and its va do not have access to cost-efficient solutions concentrations already exceed the Lowest Effect that can improve the quality of water they use and Level, and in some locations even the Severe Efthus wellbeing of their members. This comes from fect one.

Main Goal By December 2017 40 rural communities residing in the River Bîc basin have open access to safe drinking water supply available through the water purification system installed there.

Objectives 1. Design and develop a sustainable and cost-effective water purification system for rural communities in Moldova; 2. Test the system to ensure the necessary water quality standards are met and that the BioApa system can be operated long-term with minimal manual management; 3. Implement the BioApa system by retrofitting to existing networks or by developing new networks in 40 communities in the River Bîc basin and further throughout Moldova; 4. Educate 40 targeted communities in Moldova to operate, upgrade, and scale up the BioApa system.

Estimated Time Frame 3 years: January 2015 – December 2017 • Phase 1 (January 2015 – December 2015): Prototyping and finalizing initial product • Phase 2 (January 2016 – December 2016): Testing of product to ensure safety and water quality standards are met • Phase 3 (January 2017 – December 2017): Implementing the system through existing water supply networks or by developing new systems. Deliver trainings on managing the system through working with local government, NGOs, international agencies, etc.

Technology Used • MEGA Generation platform for environmental education and eco-innovation development; • Bio-denitrification process; • Digital prototyping and 3D printing; • Open-source electronics and Arduino microcontroller programming.

Budget 1. Personnel costs (8 people x 500 EUR per month x 12 months x 3 years) = 144 000 EUR 2. Engineering team for development and prototyping (3500 EUR x 1 year) = 3 500 EUR 3. MEGA Generation platform management costs ((300 EUR) x 12 months x 3 years) = 10 800 EUR 4. 3D printers and filaments (3000 EUR + 700 EUR + 180 EUR) = 3 880 EUR 5. Arduino microcontrollers and electronic components (40 EUR x 40 units) = 1 600 EUR 6. Water analysis laboratory services (50 EUR x 120 samples) = 6 000 EUR 7. Financial and accounting costs (149 EUR x 12 months x 3 years) = 5 364 EUR 8. Administrative costs (500 EUR x 12 months x 3 years) = 18 000 EUR TOTAL: 193 144 EUR

Implementing Organizations MEGA (Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy), MEGA brings to the project the knowledge, skills, and experience in environmental research, community engaging, mechanical engineering, 3D printing and electronics programming, etc. Contact: Spark Research Labs, Spark Research Labs comes with specialists in feasibility studies, product development process management, experts engagement, and operational processes. Contact:

BioApa Project Proposal  

BioApa is a project by Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy (MEGA; to design and implement a cost-efficient wat...

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