A refrigerator, oven or washing machine are now part and parcel of our standard home furnishings. If that includes a water recycling system next to it in 20 years, Hydraloop will have achieved its goal. "An important goal, because as a result of the rapidly growing world population, more water is needed every day," says Arthur Valkieser, CEO of Hydraloop. "At the same time, water scarcity is increasing."
We handle water conveniently. Per person, we consume an average of 120 liters of tap water per day. This awareness drove Valkieser to modify his own lifestyle years ago. He started recycling water at home and began developing and improving appliances in his garage. "It was a journey of doing, measuring results, trial and error," he said. The end result was the Hydraloop, a water recycling device the size of a hefty refrigerator. The first Hydraloops are currently being produced at Technologies Added in Emmen. This is the very first Smart Factory in the Netherlands, an initiative of NOM and others.
Water as a feel-good industry
There are three good reasons to engage in water conservation:
- When water is expensive. This is the case in Denmark, for example; a family there pays 100 euros a month in water and sewerage taxes. In Germany it is already 80 euros. Then you have a clear economic reason to save water.
- When water is scarce. When water is in short supply, such as in countries around the Mediterranean, water conservation is all about restoring living comfort.
- For the feel-good feeling. We are increasingly aware of water scarcity and it feels good to choose a sustainable lifestyle.
Water is not yet that pricey in the Netherlands and scarcity is hardly felt, but that will change in the future. In the North of the Netherlands, scarcity is expected within 15 years, according to EU predictions.
The Hydraloop is not yet on display at white goods stores. Valkieser: "We are now fully engaged in marketing the system. We are at trade shows and we won the innovation prize in Abu Dhabi at the annual International Water Summit (IWS). That gives a huge boost." The first project for Hydraloop will be to provide installations for a number of new, energy-generating houses in Leeuwarden. The Hydraloop fits into a sustainable yet comfortable lifestyle because it saves water by ensuring that more water is available. Do the math: With the Hydraloop you use only 74 liters instead of 120 liters and can recycle up to 63 liters. So the total availability is 137 liters of water per person while you only take 74 liters of tap water. Per year, a family of 4 can recycle about 92,000 liters.
Countering excessive water use feels like a calling
Primary necessity of life
Based at the WaterCampus in Leeuwarden, Hydraloop has grown from a one-man company to a seven-person enterprise. The WaterCampus is the hub of the Dutch water technology sector. Governments, educational institutions, entrepreneurs and scientists work together here, and the network organization Water Alliance strengthens that activity.
"It's high time we got so involved in this. Water is one of our primary necessities of life and it is running out. It almost feels like a calling for me to be involved in this. Not only in the Netherlands, but worldwide. It would be fantastic if in five years Hydraloop distributes plenty of devices that make it possible for everyone to save water."