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Desalination start-up gets $10 million

Oasys Water's low-fuel osmosis tech seen by investors as drinkable solution for non-potable water sources.

Oasys Water

Desalination start-up Oasys Water is banking on the fact that water will shortly be the new oil.

Flagship Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson seem to agree as the three invested a total of $10 million in Series A funding, according to a Wednesday announcement from Oasys Water.

Oasys (Osmotic Application Systems) Water, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company formed from a Yale University research project and seed money from GreatPoint Ventures, employs patented water treatment technology called Engineered Osmosis (EO).

The system was developed by Rob McGinnis, Oasys chief technology officer, while he was under Menachem Elimelech, the director of the environmental engineering program at Yale. EO is an osmosis system requiring 90 percent less fuel than the typical high-pressure Reverse Osmosis (RO) system employed by many desalination systems today, according to company statistics

Reducing the electricity needed for desalination osmosis systems, it's no jump to conclude, brings down the overall cost of producing potable water from seawater and waste water.

Aaron Mandell, Oasys president and CEO, issued a statement pointing to the drought in California and its exorbitant use of the state's electricity to produce water, as proof that water shortages are not just a developing nation issue.