Drinking water (Shutterstock) Shutterstock
Drinking water (Shutterstock)

The WatergenUSA system, invented by Israel, was donated to a Flint, Michigan church to help its suffering residents.

By United With Israel Staff

Armstrong Williams, owner of NBC25 television that services Michigans Flint/Tri-Cities, purchased and donated an atmospheric water generator, invented in Israel, to a local church last week.

The presentation took place at Greater Flint Holy Temple with Yehuda Kaploun, president of WatergenUSA, in attendance. Since 2016, the parking lot of the church has been a distribution center for bottled water and food for the community.

Watergen was established in 2009 by Israeli entrepreneur and former combat reconnaissance commander Arye Kohavi and a team of engineers. Its technology takes water vapor in the air and produces clean, safe drinking water, saving the trucking in and pollution produced by plastic water bottles.

Williams wrote on Twitter July 10:

I’m joining the efforts of correcting the #FlintWaterCrisis that started in 2014 by donating a @WatergenUSA system to help improve the drinking water for thousands of Flint residents affected by the lead that leaked into the Flint river. Going LIVE on @facebook at 10 AM! Tune in!

The Flint water crisis began when the city changed its drinking water source from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the less costly Flint River.

Due to poor water treatment, lead leaked from water pipes into the drinking water, exposing over 100,000 residents to high levels of the toxic metal.

Dangers of Lead in Water

A federal state of emergency was declared for Flint in January 2016. Residents were instructed to only use bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there is “no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood,” maintaining a zero tolerance to lead exposure for children.

The EPA website says that low levels of lead exposure in children are “linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing and impaired formation and function of blood cells.” The site also lists the dangers to adults, pregnant women and their fetuses.

“It is our duty and obligation to find and help people wherever there is a need,” Williams said at the donation ceremony, according to KHQA news. “Flint is facing a continued crisis, and it my honor to stand with Mother and Bishop Jones, to remind people that they should be able to drink water that is pure wholesome and trustworthy. This is only the beginning, we should all be looking for ways to help serve communities like Flint.”

Williams suggested that every school in Flint should have access to Watergen to protect children’s health.

Israeli Ingenuity

Watergen’s GEN-350 system can produce up to 600 liters (156 gallons) of water per day, according to the company.

It was originally conceived to provide easily accessible water to militaries in arid conditions where water is scarce around the world. However, following the company’s acquisition by Michael Mirilashvili, a Russian-Israeli billionaire and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, the company shifted its focus to tackling water scarcity and providing clean water to communities after natural disasters, and in emergency situations, such as in Flint.

The first system was installed in New Delhi, India in 2017. Then, the company donated systems to the American Red Cross and FEMA for large-scale use following Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017 and Hurricane Irma in Florida in 2018.

In 2018, Watergen provided its system to rescue responders in California during the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County.

Units have been deployed to 25 countries, including Vietnam, China, Mexico, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, as well as a number of other African countries.

Watergen is the recent winner of a CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award.

“We have a clear philosophy of bringing clean water to as many countries as possible,” Kaploun said, according to NoCamels Israeli Tech and Innovation News. “We are there to help when people face disasters.”

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