Desalitech wins international award for water technology

Israeli company’s purification system reduces wastewater by 50 to 75 percent

Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Desalitech’s ReFlex reverse osmosis systems treats water sources around the world using less energy and producing less waste than most competitors' systems. (courtesy)
Desalitech’s ReFlex reverse osmosis systems treats water sources around the world using less energy and producing less waste than most competitors' systems. (courtesy)

Israeli water purification company Desalitech received 2016’s Global Water Award for Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year. Desalitech’s ReFlex reverse osmosis system reduces wastewater by 50 to 75 percent and reduces energy consumption by up to 35 percent. Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, Southern California Edison, Novelis and Pall use the technology.

The company was founded in Israel in 2008 and moved to Massachusetts in 2013. It is now based in Newton, outside of Boston, and headed by Israeli co-founder and CEO Nadav Efraty.

Global Water Intelligence (GWI) announced the award at its 2016 Summit Meeting in Abu Dhabi. GWI is made up of industry professionals and publishes a monthly magazine and quarterly market intelligence reports for executives and managers of water management companies. The Global Water Award recognizes leadership in the water treatment and reuse industry.

“The biggest challenge for a startup company is crossing the proverbial valley of death – taking a technology that works and turning it into something that sells. This award, which is a new category for Global Water, recognizes Desalitech’s emergence as a successful water treatment business,” Rick Stover, executive vice president of Desalitech, said in a statement thanking GWI for the award.

The company’s closed-circuit reverse osmosis system is used by industrial, municipal and agricultural clients.

The Cleantech Group recognized Desalitech as part of its Global Cleantech 100 list in 2013 and 2014. The annual list recognizes 100 of the top private companies in clean technology, and selected Desalitech out of roughly 6,000 nominations.

The technology used in Desalitech’s system was developed in Israel by Efraty’s American-born father, Avi Efraty, over several decades. The elder Efraty is a chemist who moved his family to Israel in the mid-1970s and serves as the company’s chief technical officer.

Desalitech is one of many Israeli technology companies based in Massachusetts. In May 2014 the state’s governor at the time, Deval Patrick, headed a trade mission to Israel to help cultivate Israel’s and Massachusetts’s relationship in the technology sector, and MIT and Israel’s Ben-Gurion University collaborate on research.

Desalitech teamed with the Boston-based Harpoon Brewery to produce the Charles River Pale Ale, using its purification technology to brew beer from the once-notoriously polluted Charles River.

Israel is a world leader in water management and desalination technology, exporting $2.2 billion annually in water-related technology, and recently, Israeli water companies are making inroads in India, which has suffered a chronic water shortage for years.

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