What problem are you trying to solve?
Nearly 1 billion urban dwellers lack access to piped water at home & face a triple tax on poverty: in health (water is often procured from unsafe sources & stored in contaminated jerrycans), time (up to 2 hours per day fetching water), & money (alternatives are 15 to 20 times more expensive). The burden of fetching water most often falls on, and disproportionately affects, women and girls. Up to 70% of 3 billion utility subscribers are delinquent & risk disconnections, with dire human consequences & financial impacts on utilities. CityTaps exists to solve both sides of this problem: 1) the inability of water utilities to self-finance or borrow to fund service extensions, particularly to the very poor, due to uncertain revenue streams and costly, labor-intensive metering, billing & delinquencies processes that leave billions in receivables & 2) the difficulty for the urban poor to access household connections, pay for water services, & remain connected over time.
What is your solution to this problem?
CityTaps develops CTSuite which combines the world’s only operational smart & prepaid water meter (CTMeter) & an integrated software management system (CTCloud) that processes pay-as-you-go payments through mobile money. With CTSuite, subscribers enjoy running water at home and use mobile money to add credit to their “water balance” – for any amount, at any time, with any phone – automatically opening water access at the CTMeter. CTMeters connect to the Internet & transfer data in near real-time so that utilities can save on OPEX. With CTSuite, water utilities can improve their cash flow, balance sheets and efficiency. Importantly, CTSuite allows users who were disconnected due to arrears to become reconnected to utility networks and make small daily micropayments to pay off their accrued debt. With newfound financial health, water utilities can confidently expand coverage, use CTMeter data to improve operations &, once at scale, access new sources of financing for capital projects.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
CityTaps is in the process of scaling up its Niamey, Niger project to 1,325 CTMeters, positively affecting the lives of an estimated 20,000 people. We have a signed letter of intent from Veolia to purchase 15,000 more CTMeters at the end of 2018 which will impact an additional 200,000 people. CityTaps recently began an additional project to deploy 6 CTSuites in Dakar, Senegal with Odissi, a provider of ultra-filtered potable water available through dispensers located in convenience stores. The potential of this project is several thousand CTMeters in Senegal and in the region, allowing us to bring clean, affordable water to even more people. CityTaps will begin a third pilot project later this fall.