In a remarkable article about his experience working with support from Winrock to bring clean water solutions to Kenya, Chris Warren, a freelance writer based in Arkansas shared an account of Joshua Okundi’s five-acre farm.

“A longtime schoolteacher who left his job to become a farmer in 2013, Okundi is an instructor to the constant stream of visitors who arrive at his home in Kendu, a small rural village in the western reaches of Kenya.

Visitors come seeking advice, seedlings, and a glimpse at technologies that can help them succeed.

Over the past two years, Okundi has exposed locals to the potential of solar-powered water pumps. Okundi was first introduced to the technology in 2015, when a representative from the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation (KSSI) project brought a pump to show to a group of farmers.”

“Whenever there is sun, you can pump water,” Okundi said.

Fuel is expensive in rural Africa, where there is no formal supply chain, and keeping generators going where there is no electrical grid creates uneven results.

Water is, like fuel, also becoming expensive, especially with massive droughts caused by global warming.

But everywhere – there is sun.

“Okundi now uses four pumps to irrigate his crops of tomatoes and corn and to replenish a small pond where he raises tilapia and catfish to sell in local markets. Besides witnessing the pumps in action, farmers with little money hear this important message: The pump pays for itself quickly.”

Winrock International, the NGO that implemented the KSSI project, performed ROI studies on two farmers who purchased solar pumps, proving that loans could be paid off in less than two years, after which time the gross profit for sale of water – or food grown by having water – skyrocketed.

At the same time, larger projects over decades, including bringing the traditional energy grid or water pumping and reservoirs have not been nearly as successful. Centralized models aren’t working; decentralized, empowering, local solutions – including those leveraging solar power – are working.

At Sun Fresh Water, our vision is to bring clean water to those who need it most, one individual, one household, one village at a time, including support “water farms” where our technology can literally help entrepreneurs create clean water using a clean energy solution for water purification and desalination in the form of solar water distillation {SWD).

SWD is not a new process, but it has not received the attention that it deserves for technological advancement and scaling with very low risk.

The Sun Fresh Water company, in partnership with the Center For Advanced Engineering Design and Development of The City University of New York, has developed a portable Solar Powered Water Purification System that provides the prospect of significantly increasing the availability of fresh water for human consumption and agricultural production.

Building water farms scales this naturally.

As a pilot study, we have built basic units and conducted preliminary testing in Florida, with production of up to 3X from reported flat systems, and up to 2X from the reported CPC experiments. The expected energy savings are enormous when compared to the benchmark of the alternative of reverse-osmosis, where energy usage is about 5 kWhe/m3.

Our vision is to optimize this technology, characterize the performance, and develop a commercially ready unit for a large-scale deployment. Accordingly, we are seeking a partner who has both the resources to enable us to optimize our technology and develop a commercially ready unit, as well as to provide the ability to manufacture and distribute this technology globally.

We’re proud of the patents being awarded to us by the US Trademark and Patent Office, as this gives us a solid foundation for creating a thriving commercial business (manufacturing and distributing cool units for consumers and businesses in the developing world, for people who are environmentally conscious and who love innovation and invention) so we create profits that can be plowed back into initiatives that will get as many units out into the developing world as possible.

Why wait?

Every minute a newborn dies from infection caused by lack of safe water and an unclean environment.

(WHO, 2015)

Diarrhea caused by dirty water and poor toilets kills a child under 5 every 2 minutes.


Around the world up to 443 million school days are lost every year because of water-related illnesses.

(Human Development Report, 2006)

Not a moment too soon, we are on the cusp of a solution that is at once practical, affordable, shippable, and valuable to more people than we can count, when we count on each other.

What kind of water farm would you like to create, and where, and why?