Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014 Governor's Emerging Trader of the Year- Blue Future

Thursday evening, I attended the annual World Trade Club of Washington'sTrader of the Year event  to receive the 2014 Emerging Trader of the Year award and a beautiful crystal trophy. Below are my remarks at that time:

"I want to thank the World Trade Club for this prestigious honor. We have had a joke around the office that one of these days, after years and years of hard work and ups and downs, we would become an overnight success, and this honor is certainly an indicator that we’re getting there. Much credit goes to the vigorous state and federal trade agencies in Washington that have provided Blue Future with invaluable help.

 What does Blue Future do? Blue Future makes and supplies our proprietary low tech water treatment systems to customers throughout the US and, to date, to 22 countries.  It started from my graduate work with Mayan communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico in the early 90s and arose from a simple question.

“Is it possible to provide a reliable and safe drinking water system that will work for years, that takes water from surface sources, doesn’t require electricity, or chemicals, or replacement cartridges, and can be maintained by local people?

The answer was a 200 hundred year old biological technology called slow sand filtration, SSF. SSF removes high levels of bacteria, viruses, and cysts, making water safe. But, there’s a hitch. Traditionally slow sand filters are big, engineered, concrete and steel projects.

Blue Future solved this problem by putting the technology into new materials. This allows for a manufactured solution that amortizes the engineering over thousands of identical systems.  We supply systems that treat 450 gallons per day up to 200 gallons per minute, enough safe water for 31,000 people. The result is Blue Future can provide US standard drinking water to any community, anywhere in the world at reasonable cost.

Some of our projects over the years have included village filters for Sumatra after the 2005 Tsunami, rainforest indigenous communities in Peru, and for the last three years we have been supplying village sized filters to Safe Water Network for communities around Lake Volta, Ghana with funding from Newman’s Own Foundation and Hilton.

The bottom line for Blue Future is that 1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Two million people die every year from preventable water born disease. Blue Future’s vision is to reduce these numbers, and I wish to thank you for your recognition of our vision and efforts. "