An earthquake, flood, tsunami or hurricane leaves devastation in its wake, and either shuts down or pollutes most drinking water supplies, leading to death from waterborne disease or dehydration. Help is on the way from Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI), Albany, Ore., manufacturer of the HydroPack, a forward osmosis filtration system that can be immersed in contaminated water and will expand into a pouch of safe, hydrating sports drink.
Two liquids in the HydroPack are separated by a membrane that only allows water to pass, preventing contaminants from entering the clean side of the pouch. The clean side contains sports drink powder that is gradually diluted with filtered water, making 12 ounces of a tasty drink that includes calories and electrolytes to replenish sick or dehydrated disaster victims. HTI also makes the X-Pack, which can produce more than eight gallons of drink per filter. The products are lightweight and pack flat, unlike bottled water, and can be used in any water sources, including mud puddles, creeks or swimming pools. In January, HTI used the HydroPack in Kenya to demonstrate the cost, logistic and health benefits of the product over bottled water to an audience that included the Red Cross, UNICEF and the Kenyan government.