Water world we live in!


By Mary-Lou Keur, Bupa Medical Visa Services Centre Manager.

As someone who lives in Australia, I love being around the water. Our country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and rivers which make us the envy of people all over the world.

While crashing waves and thunderous waterfalls may seem powerful, water is not as resilient as we might think. Research suggests a one-third of the global biodiversity has disappeared as a consequence of the degradation of freshwater ecosystems mainly due to the pollution of water resources and aquatic ecosystems[1].

Additionally, polluted or waste-filled water jeopardises the health of local communities that come in contact with this water for food, agriculture, or leisure. 

Standing up to the challenge

The challenge of protecting our waterways (and indeed all of nature) is something I am passionate about and led me to register for Bupa’s eco-Disruptive program, a global sustainable innovation program where our team challenged ourselves to fund a digital solution to water pollution. 

While we all liked the idea of beach and river clean-ups, these are labour intensive and rely on intensive coordination and logistics. We wanted to work with a start-up that could automate the water-cleaning process. That is when we found Clearbot.   

Mary-Lou Keur, Bupa Medical Visa Services Centre Manager

Face-to-face with the future

After looking through hundreds of startups, our team stumbled across a Hong Kong-based company called Clearbot. 

They offer safe, emission-free, AI-powered, self-driving boats that collect rubbish and other pollutants from oceans and waterways. Clearbot’s boats can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world with the press of a button. In addition, they collect powerful data with artificial intelligence (AI), to help governments & clients lobby to stop pollution at the source.

This means round-the-clock cleaning and monitoring and no need for extensive people power. After all the volume of water in the world will always outstrip the number of volunteers available.

The flow of ideas for a healthier future

At Bupa, we want to play our part in creating a healthy planet for healthy people so ensuring we all have access to cleaner water that is free of pollution, poisons, and disease is a no-brainer. And while we realise we can't bring a Clearbot boat to every beach, river and lake in the world, we can approach this from a grass-roots level.

Together with Clearbot we want to bring clean water to communities big and small with poor water quality. 

[1] https://en.unesco.org/waterquality-iiwq/wq-challenge