Agua: water

Via: way, path


Abundant, pure, low cost water is the basis of human health, prosperity, and peace.  Water is the basis for agriculture, industry and daily living.

Worldwide, water is increasingly scarce and increasingly polluted. Today, cleaning up the very small and dangerous contaminants, or taking salt out of seawater is energy intensive and expense. The challenge is to provide the world with high purity water at low energy and low cost from any potential source.

This is Agua Via’s mission: providing abundant, pure water for all at the lowest energy use, and at greatly reduced costs.

Agua Via intends to offer the ultimate low energy/high purity technology based on a unique, one-atomic-layer thick membranes capable of delivering high purity water for domestic use, industry and agriculture by purification, wastewater remediation and desalination at the lowest energy possible under physical law from any water source, no matter how contaminated. By delivering an ultra-low energy solution in a small package that replaces large plants, everything from large municipalities to small towns and rural agricultural areas can benefit from high volume, low cost, high purity water at affordable prices.

On schedule for first installations in 2020, our first appearances will be in California to help farmers dealing with drought, and in India to help provide clean drinking water in villages. We look forward to this being just a small first sign of the difference we can make in the world’s water issues.



In 2007, the chairman of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, HRH Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, analyzed how Africa’s entwined problems of water, food production, energy and ecosystems impact directly on each other, and compared them to a Rubik’s Cube: “everything depends on everything else. One twist in the right direction – for food production, for instance – may have an immediate, negative impact on the other side of the Cube, on the environment or drinking water supply. That makes matters so difficult....It would be smart to sort out the blue side (sic, water) first.

…Agua Via is starting on the blue side.

Jeremy Pelczer



Steve Howard

 Chief Executive Officer


Martin Edelstein Ph.D.

 Co-founder | Director


Gayle Pergamit

Co-founder | Director


Ian Blake Thomas



Viscount Christopher Portman

Co-founder | Director



Former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz


Floyd Wicks | Former CEO American States Water




Tony Rachwal | Head of Technical Advisory Group

Mark LeChevallier Ph.D. | Vice President and Chief Environmental Officer, American Water Inc.

Chris Rockey |

Hemang Shah | Senior Vice President, UEM/Toshiba




Jeremy Pelczer, Chairman. Former CEO of Thames Water, the world’s 3rd largest water company, and CEO and President of American Water, the largest US water company. Previously Chair of the charity Wateraid International and currently Chairman of UK based Sutton and East Surrey Water plc


Stephen Howard, CEO, Director.  Including work at Harvard University in Post-Industrial Engineering, has decades of senior corporate experience in taking technology from the laboratory into the field, establishing manufacturing and building supply chains within a range of industries and manufacturing operations such as Courtaulds.


Martin Edelstein PhD, Director.  Co-founder. Creator of the one-atomic-layer thick membranes from which Agua Via products are built, Edelstein is overseeing the productization of the technology to produce the desalination product. He has taken multiple pharmaceutical products through the US FDA, a process similar to taking product through the EPA and international equivalents.


Gayle Pergamit, Director. Co-founder. CEO of Covalent. Expertise in the creation and introduction of disruptive technologies.


Ian Blake Thomas, Director. Chartered accounting expertise.


Viscount Christopher Portman, Director. Co-founder. Chairman of the Portman Settled Estate Ltd, which manages 110 acres in central London, he has deep experience in atomically-precise technologies, biomedical devices, pharmaceuticals, and strong commitment to medical and environmental issues.


Former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Advisor to the Board on issues of water’s role in war, peace, and prosperity. US economist, statesman, and businessman, he is only one of two people to have held four US Cabinets posts as the United States Secretary of Labor, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. As president of Bechtel, deep business expertise in building the Middle East’s desalination capacity.


Floyd Wicks, Advisor to the Board. Previously CEO of American States Water, a NYSE company, with water industry and water engineering experience in multiple States throughout the USA. Formerly President of the National Association of Water Companies, a trade association representing the private water sector in the USA


Tony Rachwal, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Group. Considered one of the world’s leading experts on desalination. Former head of Thames Water R&D. Now an Industrial Business Fellow (Water) at the University of Surrey, and a member of the UK Natural Environment Research Council.


Mark LeChevallier, Technical Advisor. Currently VP and Chief Environmental Officer, American Water.


Chris Rockey, Technical Advisor. Currently head of Water Quality at UK based South West Water.


Hemang Shah, Technical Advisor. Senior Vice President of UEM, a Toshiba Group Company, providing international Engineering, Procurement & Construction, and Operations & Maintenance services for water & wastewater.


(later: Transform, Unilever- Agua Via/Covalent)

(Do we want to do it this way, with the date leading? It gives us a News or Calendar effect. But if there’s a long time gap, it looks bad.)


July 2016, Agua Via’s first water membrane from Covalent becomes the featured image on the splash page for the Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office website. “The most atomically precise material ever built.”


June 2016, Covalent requested to present the membranes at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Peer Review


April 2016, DOE awarded Covalent SBIR Phase 2 Grant for scale-up of membrane manufacturing.


March 2016, Agua Via attends the 2016 White House Water Summit, one of only two companies invited.


January 2016, Agua Via invited to US President’s Office of Management & Budget small strategy group to advise on national water strategy.


December 2015, Agua Via invited to attend the US President’s White House Roundtable on Water Innovation.


March 2016, first commercial contract signed to deliver 45,000Acre Feet of water per year in California


December 2015, US National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Covalent an SBIR Phase 1 Grant for development of a commercial-scale, real time Quality Assurance system for membrane manufacturing.


February 2015, US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Covalent SBIR Phase 1 Grant for development of commercial-scale, massively parallel membrane manufacturing.


Artemis (2 awards to Agua Via), Going Green (Agua Via), ImagineH2O (Agua Via) (Max, you have the logo artwork for these. Let’s just use the logos, not the names.)





From the US National Science Foundation


“The broader impact of this technology is, of course, astounding.”


“Such a technology can make the polluted feed stocks which are now off limits as impossible or too costly to clean usable.”


From the US Department of Energy

 “The Breakthrough That Has Been Expected for Membrane Technology.”


“Transformative technology that can revolutionize the water applications across all market segments. This membrane offers a long list of key benefits which would be compelling under normal business circumstances, e.g., small footprint, higher yield, and reduced fouling.”

The water industry can benefit from the low energy use possibility; and the selectivity needed to deal with seawater or highly comprised feedstocks, which are an increasingly important water resource in the future.

”The impact of this technology is enormous. The era of cheap water is over and we need better ways to purify water that use as little energy as possible. The approach of synthesizing membranes that have the ultimate density of size selective pores is the best approach possible. Membrane filtration requires the lowest energy outlay of all approaches. This is water, and after all, a basic human need.”

 “This will have a great impact on the water desalination process in the next decade.” This is clearly a high impact when compared to the RO techniques that are used. They require high pressure and are inefficient, as the RO layers tend to develop fouling. US Department of Energy, SBIR Phase II Award Review 2016

Covalent will develop a one atomic-layer-thick membranes sufficient to provide for a large percentage of the world’s water purification and desalination needs using advanced manufacturing techniques to lay this membrane that prevent holes from forming for fouling to start. The thin film and membrane manufacturing and assembly will prevent this. US Department of Energy, SBIR Phase II Award Review 2016

There has been a tremendous amount of excitement generated in the past couple of months in the development of nanoporous graphene for water filtration. This has resulted in many news stories in the popular press and Lockheed Martin has obtained a patent in this area and is developing it as a water purification technology. Nanoporous graphene has tremendous challenges in terms of scalability and control of pore size. Even if these problems were to be solved, the pore density of the approach described in this Phase II proposal is far superior in terms of pore density. Nanoporous graphene will never achieve the pore density of covalently linked pore forming macromolecules. US Department of Energy, SBIR Phase II Award Review 2016

“These membranes are a better alternative to much-publicized graphene.” – US National Science Foundation, SBIR Award Review