Updated Oct 31, 2019

Chris Turnbull-grimes

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Right now, we're piloting our first residential water system. In the community of Wita, 700 homes have each paid $50 to connect to the pipe network while the local water ministry office has provided an additional $7700 to construct it. Every home will get at least four times as much water as they had to walk for before and it will be right at their house.

Yes, we have 700 homes in Wita, a rural community in Ethiopia about 3 hours south of Addis Ababa.

We're piloting our system now. As the system is shown to work, we will have more evidence to prove its usefulness.
Registered in Ethiopiain Ethiopia

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Agriculture, Health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Human Centered DesignSEE LESS

Implemented In:


EthiopiaSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Country Implemented In
Verified Funding

Mission and Vision

We aim to help communities, especially women and children who typically bear the burden of walking for water, take control of their own water supply and get it to them where they want it most: in their homes. We want to help rural farms stabilize and increase their crop yield as rainfall patterns change due to climate change. We predict that within five years, we will be able to be building 180 of these systems every year, gaining water access for 450,000 people each year, and that's just in Ethiopia.

Innovation Description

Across Ethiopia, 83 million people walk for water. Of these, more than 37 million live rurally near a clean water source while still carrying the burden of this necessity. To combat this, Flowius builds radically affordable water systems allowing rural homes and farms living on $1.50/day can have water piped to them. We combine a franchised business model; a suite of mobile tools for mapping, maintaining systems, and running franchises; and a design philosophy emphasizing radical affordability. We use a network of rurally-based franchises to implement Flowius. Our franchises use Flowius Collect to map communities by gathering geospatial and design data to upload them to our in-country engineers. Then, they work with communities and local water authorities to help with financing, regulations, and answering any questions anyone might have. After they've constructed the system, they help maintain and operate the pipe networks using Flowius Manage which provides remote controls, push notifications for operation and maintenance activities, instructional videos for everything, and all the financial tools needed to run the system. The franchise uses Flowius Connect to help with their daily operations with things like inventory management, client relations, and marketing. For our residential water systems, monthly fees are collected by local clients while we collect pre-paid funds for our irrigation supply. Our country headquarters provide training and operational support for the franchises. Additionally, they design all the water systems and partner with local suppliers to lower the cost of our materials. On top of that, they work with local water ministries to help them reach the goals that they set for themselves.

Competitive Advantage

1) Radically Affordable - Less than half the cost of typical piped water systems 2) Reliable - Simple to run minimizing system downtime 3) Safe - Piped water is significantly cleaner than typical collection methods like carrying it in a jerrycan 4) Income Generating - Access to water in the home and for irrigation drastically increases income generating potential

Planned Goals and Milestones

Our franchise network is essential to the expansion of Flowius. We recruit franchises from recent and upcoming university graduates who have a desire to return to their hometowns. We test them for various skills and if we select them, we train, establish, and support them.
First, we need to effectively monitor our pilot piped water system and make sure that it is running properly while establishing our first franchise. After that, we will expand our residential capacity in our local beachhead market and work to train more franchises while introducing our irrigation model.
Funding Goal1,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted3,600


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Supporting Materials

3BL Enterprises Net Revenue Projections.pdf
3BL Enterprises and Flowius Executive Summary.pdf