Solvatten is a social enterprise based in Sweden and we have one mission: To provide people living in developing countries with safe and hot water in a portable, environmentally-friendly way.
We created a revolutionary way to provide clean water to under-served communities around the world and are pinpoint-focused on delivering the Solvatten Solar Safe Water System to customers, charities and distributors around the world. We have formed partnerships with like-minded organizations and micro-financing institutions in efforts to increase reach and improve affordability.
Solvatten is the brainchild of a Swedish inventor, Petra Wadström and the Solvatten story began in Australia in the early 90s, where Petra was living with her husband Carl and their family. The Wadström’s professional background was diverse, spanning both medical science and the arts, which helped spark the creative thinking behind Solvatten.
Living in Australia, Petra was struck by the abundance and intensity of natural sunlight. She was convinced that harnessing its strength could result in better water access to those living in poverty.
Exposing water to sunlight has the effect of both purifying and heating water, eliminating many commonly-found contaminants and bacteria. Solvatten was created and subjected to rigorous initial trials. This was followed by field visits throughout Africa and Asia, where Petra and her team began conducting studies to validate the efficiency of her creation in a variety of contexts. Today, Solvatten is used in more than 20 countries around the world reaching more than 400,000 people.
Solvatten founded a charitable foundation in Sweden in 2013, focused on improving the lives of primarily women and children, who live without easy access to safe water. A few years later, Solvatten Charitable Foundation USA was created to allow for US-based giving. Contributions made in the US are administered by the US foundation.
Solvatten is organized into three parts – a Swedish corporation and two charitable foundations: Solvatten Charitable Foundation USA, a registered 501(c)(3) foundation, and Solvatten Charitable Foundation Sweden (“Solvatten Insamlingsstiftelse”).
WATER AND CLIMATE INNOVATION
Awards and recognition
Both the Solvatten invention itself and the organization’s founder, Petra Wadström, have achieved national and international recognition for their contributions to bringing safe, hot water to those who need it.
In 2013 President Barack Obama visited the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. Petra Wadström was given the opportunity to present the device and explain how it is used around the world to improve health, empower women, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A selection of awards and recognitions
The tech museum in SanJose, USA selects Solvatten Technology for global good. https://www.thetech.org/tech-global-good-1/2018-laureate
A European-wide competition recognizing the most-talented and successful woman entrepreneur in Europe
Rewarding outstanding innovations in WASH with significant impact on tropical diseases
Solvatten was awarded for its usability to address climate change challenges. The award is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change Secretaria, UNFCCC
Mid Sweden University with the assistance of the Schwab Foundation awarded Petra Wadström and Solvatten as a result of their focus on improving the lives of millions living in poverty.
Representatives of The Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise awarded Solvatten a grant in 2009. The grant is awarded annually to promote research, technical development and enterprise that contribute to the sustainable utilization of natural resources and the preservation of biodiversity.
“Solvatten is a perfect example of the way in which mankind can use the sun as a source to improve and, in this case, save lives. This is exactly the sort of solution that we want to promote with a Solar Flare Award.”
Every two years, the Soroptimists award a prize to a woman in Sweden who has helped to highlight women’s achievements in professional life and society. In 2012, the prize went to Petra Wadström, the creator of Solvatten.
Petra Wadström won the prestigious Änglamark prize that is awarded each year to encourage and highlight initiatives in the environmental field. The subject for 2011 was the preservation of natural resources and the award stated “Solvatten is a simple solution to a major global problem through treating and heating water. The fact that it also reduces the hard work that women have to do and saves the forests that would otherwise be burned to heat water is a further example of innovative resource management.
London 20012. Solvatten was awarded the prize for best innovation.
Solvatten exhibited along with the best Swedish innovations in the Swedish pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010. The exhibition fair had approximately 70 million visitors.
New York Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.The museum chose to exhibit Solvatten at the international “Why design now” fair. The exhibition opened in May 2010 in New York and expected to tour worldwide.
Prize for the best Swedish invention in memory of Alfred Nobel, 2008. The jury, which consists of a respectable group of academics and heads of Swedish companies, stated: “The Skapa grant goes to an innovation that can address the needs faced by those who live in poverty. The Solvatten invention can facilitate a better life for hundreds of millions of people”.
SWEA International is a women’s network promoting Swedish culture and tradition throughout the world.
The Polhem Prize is a highly prestigious Swedish prize awarded by the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (formerly Civilingenjörsförbundet and Svenska Teknologföreningen) for a high-level technological innovation or an ingenious solution to a technical problem.
Solvatten was nominated by an international panel of experts focusing on energy and sustainable development. Solvatten was awarded for their achievements in the UN Habitat in Mali project.
This prize is awarded every year by Swentec (the Swedish Environmental Technology Council), VINNOVA (the Swedish Authority for Innovation and Sustainable Growth), the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional.
WWF Sweden designated Solvatten as one of seven inventions worthy of the title of “Climate Solver 2009.” The WWF stated: “Solvatten is an inspiring example of a non-fossil-fuel, non-nuclear fuel climate invention with the potential to heavily reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”