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Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year: Shortlist

For the early-stage technology company which made the most impressive commercial breakthrough in the global water technology market in 2017.

Shortlisted Nominees



What is it?

An Israeli cybersecurity firm specialising in industrial control networks for critical infrastructure.

What has it done?

After exiting stealth mode with $32 million in venture capital in late 2016, Claroty has quickly grown its customer base in the water sector by guaranteeing that industrial control systems and networks are safe from cyberattacks – a rapidly developing threat for water utilities in the digital age. 2017 saw Claroty add Suez subsidiary Agbar as a key client, while it is also working to protect critical assets belonging to some of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the USA, Australia and Israel.

What makes it special?

One client was worried about a cyberattack on its wastewater treatment facility, where it felt exposed to a pollution event that could incur heavy fines. Claroty massively reduced this vulnerability after it transformed a lack of real-time visibility in the customer’s operational technology network via the introduction of its continuous threat detection suite – completing the task in just one week.

No other company understands all the automation and control equipment available to the water industry as comprehensively as Claroty. It has signed key agreements with leading industry automation systems providers Rockwell and Schneider Electric to accelerate its momentum in the water sector.


Support from ex-military intelligence experts with an unrivalled understanding of threats to industrial control systems equipment, protocols, communications and processes puts Claroty head and shoulders above the competition. By protecting critical water assets such as the largest membrane desalination plant in the world at Soreq in Israel, Claroty’s solutions have become an indispensable tool in the defence of all types of water infrastructure.



What is it?

A Texas-based provider of proprietary biocatalysts to reduce sludge formation in biological wastewater treatment.

What has it done?

In 2017, Drylet’s efforts to tackle the perennial problem of increasing global sludge volumes were second to none. The company experienced rapid uptake of its Aqua Assist product, with its customer base in the United States growing by 50%, partly thanks to major utility California Water Service signing on as a client in several states. Drylet also penned an agreement with Chinese treatment plant developer Nanjing Hoyo Group, giving it a beachhead in a market which is spending unprecedented amounts of money on wastewater remediation.

What makes it special?

Drylet’s unique microbioreactor particles with special microbial cultures can be added to existing treatment systems to help bacteria reproduce at hugely accelerated rates, converting waste directly to gas and water, instead of solids. The scaleable, no-capex solution significantly increases treatment capacity within the same physical footprint, making it the technology of choice for no fewer than 50 US municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the city of Houston, TX, sludge washout from a multi-million gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant that suffered a 600% flow rate surge was entirely avoided thanks to Drylet’s product. The company’s ability to provide an almost instantaneous remedy to bring a WWTP back online after a catastrophic event is unparalleled.


As sludge management regulations become stricter across the globe, many utilities are struggling to manage growing volumes. Drylet’s technology turns the problem on its head, generating up to 50% less waste activated sludge in the wastewater treatment process.



What is it?

A California-based developer of a revolutionary nanobubble technology for aeration in water and wastewater treatment.

What has it done?

Since launching its Nanobubble Generator product in June 2017, Moleaer has achieved outstanding growth, notching up nearly 50 commercial sales in just six months. Its nanobubble technology is revolutionising municipal and industrial wastewater aeration and dissolved air flotation systems for customers in the United States, Israel, Italy, Turkey and India.

What makes it special?

Due to their lack of buoyancy and an ability to increase gas holding capacity, the use of nanobubbles brings energy consumption for aeration down to new lows, thus overcoming a perennial pain point in the wastewater treatment process. Moleaer has demonstrated a reduction of up to 80% in energy usage and 86% oxygen transfer efficiency at an industrial scale.

Moleaer cut through the notoriously slow sales cycle of the water industry with a novel approach to doing business. Without the need for clients to replace their existing aeration system, the company can install a Nanobubble Generator in under an hour on a 30-day trial basis, with no customer commitment to a full purchase required.


Moleaer’s backers have unrivalled experience in the commercialisation and development of water technology, following a capital injection from Rusheen Capital Management during 2017. The investment vehicle is led by Jeff Green and Jim McDermott, the co-founders of NanoH2O, whose sale to LG Chem in 2014 is regarded as one of the most successful water technology exits in the last 15 years.



What is it?

A Netherlands-based developer of a capacitive deionisation process for electrochemical desalination and water softening.

What has it done?

2017 saw Voltea’s capacitive deionisation (CapDI) technology take off as one of the most successful alternatives to reverse osmosis in recent years. It gained significant market traction in the industrial and commercial sectors, with over 100 systems being shipped. The company also closed a $10 million funding round to further accelerate its growth, and brought the full capacity of its robotic module assembly plant in Dallas online.

What makes it special?

The ability of the CapDI technology to fine-tune the level of salt removal from a feedwater stream has proven a winning factor for industries such as horticulture, as well as in the catering and hospitality sectors. The ability of the new DiUse point-of-use device to produce water with conductivity levels that can provide the perfect coffee brew helped grow Voltea’s order-book to well over 1,000 systems last year.

In 2017 Voltea shipped its largest system to date, a 475m3/d unit for use in South America’s largest data centre to condition the feedwater entering the cooling towers. The CapDI technology is becoming an increasingly attractive option for replacing traditional opex-heavy chemical treatment solutions for scale control.


Voltea brings a compelling value proposition to clients who have traditionally favoured RO, particularly given the need for less pretreatment and no remineralisation. The CapDI technology is currently outperforming RO and electrodialysis at a municipal pilot in Colorado, potentially paving the way for a full-scale contract involving a 4.8MGD (18,168m3/d) plant.


The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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