Cody Friesen sets his sights on making clean drinking water available for everyone.

A happy, productive and healthy life is impossible without water. Natural disasters, pollution, and drought can have catastrophic impacts on clean water sources for communities around the globe. Universal access to healthy, drinkable water is one man’s grand vision                                                 

“Around the world, approximately 2.1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. In the African continent alone, women and girls spend 40 billion hours collecting water each year. Everyone experiences water stress, at best case it’s expensive and inconvenient - at worst it is fatal,” says Cody Friesen, CEO of water technology company Zero Mass Water.

Founded by Friesen in 2014, Zero Mass Water’s vision is to perfect water for everyone on the planet and its mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource. The company’s brainchild is SOURCE, a Hydropanel that creates purified water from water vapor in the air. The panels rely on photovoltaics to convert vapor to liquid. SOURCE panels run independently of any other source of energy to create distilled water that is treated with calcium and magnesium, making drinkable water where it may be a scarce resource.  

Eliminating the need for environmental unfriendly plastic packaging from bottling drinking water, two SOURCE Hydropanels significantly reduces plastic waste, the equivalent of 100,000 plastic bottles. Friesen’s vision to improve lives resonates with Hyundai’s zero waste policy, epitomized by its technology EcoShift Dual Clutch Transmission. This innovation by the leading automobile maker from South Korean enables power to flow without interruption from engine to transmission, boosting fuel efficiency.

Since a decade ago, Friesen has been one of the most recognizable faces of innovating for a brighter future. In 2007, he cofounded Fluidic Energy to make his design for a rechargeable metal-air battery commercially available. His battery is capable of containing 10 times as much energy as lithium ion devices, yet at a modest price. He was one of the top 35 innovators worldwide under 35 named by MIT’s Technology Review in 2009.

Disaster relief is a primary focus for Friesen. He’s invested in drought-stricken zones such as Cape Town and Australia and remote islands like Vanuatu have benefited from SOURCE. In 2017, hurricane Maria caused devastation in Puerto Rico, leaving half the population with no access to potable water. Friesen’s team installed two arrays of six SOURCE panels in Utuado, with nearly 30 installed in total, giving clean drinking water to those in need, especially pregnant women, children and the elderly.

SOURCE is expanding its reach around the world and is currently installed in 16 countries. Adhering to its philosophy that water should be a basic human right, it is available for people across the socio-economic spectrum on five continents, including North America, Europe and Asia. 

Just like Friesen says, their goal is to perfect water for every person in every place.

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