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Updated 21 Jun 2018

How WaterSavr SA is solving a key SA (water) issue

This company aims to help South Africa lose even less water to evaporation, and save money in the long-term. 

Nicole Crampton , 07 March 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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Water evaporation is one of the leading challenges facing the manufacturing sector, and the greater South African business eco-system. WaterSavr SA managing director, Doug Vinnicombe, says: “The need for water conservation was significantly highlighted following the severe drought conditions that impacted South Africa last year, resulting in eight provinces being declared disaster areas.”

WaterSavr SA is a new venture, and despite the recent rains in Gauteng and KZN, it’s aiming to plug a gap in the market when it comes to sustainable water conservation. The company supplies a powdered-substance that can be added to open dams or on-site storage tanks to reduce the amount of water businesses lose to the sun.

Related: Water-wise business opportunities in South Africa


WaterSavr SA’s powder can be applied to any large body of water from a small boat or through an automated spreader. “Once applied, a thin film forms on the surface of the water, which then automatically spreads, thereby limiting the amount of water lost due to evaporation,” says the company’s managing director, Doug Vinnicombe. This technology can help water reliant businesses, that still use open dams and tanks, to save money and reduce environmental impact.

If you’re looking to start a new business that’s aimed at sustaining South Africa’s water resources, why not take the follwing factors, that WaterSavr SA already navigated, into consideration:

1. Identify the challenge you want to solve

Businesses can now add this powder to any large body of water, like a reservoir or cooling tank. Once applied, a thin film will form on the surface of the water that will limit the amount of water that is lost to evaporation. The idea came to Vinnicombe when he realised that there is a strong need for water conservation solutions in South Africa.

2. Offer solutions that solve those challenges

Water -saving -solutions

WaterSavr powder can be used with little to no infrastructure, and costs less than developing fixed water-saving infrastructure. The company can help water-reliant businesses save between 20% to 30% of water lost depending on specific applications. Vinnicombe explains: “On a 3000-hectare dam, WaterSavr can save at least 18 000 kilolitres from evaporation. This is equivalent to the average daily water use of about 73 000 households.”

Related: How to save water in your business

An innovative powder solution that doesn’t require infrastructure upgrades is arguably what businesses are looking for to save money and resources. If you’re looking to provide a water-saving solution, consider how a simple solution might make a greater impact than a heavy-set tech barrage of offerings for companies to choose from.

3. Ensure the product has multiple applications

WaterSavr can be used in the following ways:

  • In reservoirs – reducing evaporation by up to 35%.
  • In potable water storages – which creates the opportunity where drinking water is consumed and not lost.
  • In aqueducts and canals – which allows more water to reach machines for cooling.
  • In irrigation canals and ditches – which offers a reduction in delivery losses and more water at the same purchase expense.

When you’re looking to bring your product or water-saving service to market, consider how WaterSavr has also opted to receive approval by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Water Research Commissions. This adds credibility, and will make it easier for you to sell your solutions to businesses. 

Related: How water scarcity could have big implications for your small business


  • Identify a need that your company can solve and research and develop a product to achieve this.
  • Design the solution keeping in mind time frame and when an impact would be needed.
  • Offer multiple applications for your product to ensure a large market and profits. 
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About the author

Nicole Crampton

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