Israeli heiress says goodbye to wasted water with Miya

A personal responsibility – billionaire Shari Arison believes she has an obligation to help the world increase drinking water supplies.The richest woman in the Middle East has found a way to merge business and do-gooding for the planet, setting an …

A personal responsibility – billionaire Shari Arison believes she has an obligation to help the world increase drinking water supplies.The richest woman in the Middle East has found a way to merge business and do-gooding for the planet, setting an example for future environmental philanthropists and clean technology experts. Shari Arison, who inherited the Carnival Cruise Line’s fortune and her late father Ted Arison’s billions of dollars in assets, is about to help return lost drinking water to those most in need.

Under the Arison Group, of which she is the chairman, Arison has invested $100 million in a new water saving initiative called Miya (pronounced “me-ya”). Founded in 2006, Miya was launched publicly some weeks ago after acquiring and controlling the necessary global firms to take it to market.

Miya intends to return lost drinking water – dripping through leaky valves and faulty equipment – to quench the thirst of millions who go without safe and clean drinking water every day. About one third of the world’s drinking water is going to waste, getting lost through leaky pipes and valves. This is a factor that continues to deprive people from drinking water, according to the company.

Miya intends to cut this statistic in half.

The idea to save water leaking from pipes isn’t revolutionary, but the approach of joining global forces is. Already owning a number of powerhouse assets in the area, with contacts to hundreds more, Miya will be made up of up of six state-of-the-art water services companies to provide a complete solution to cities and towns.

Companies involved include Israel’s Dorot, a pressure control valve manufacturer already used throughout America; GuterMann, a leak location equipment specialist in Switzerland; and the Canadian-run Veritec Consulting, a company which designs water loss reduction programs.

In Israel, Miya is headed by Booky Oren, a veteran water specialist, and the previous chair of Mekorot, Israel’s national water utility company. According to Oren who spoke with ISRAEL21c, the effects of Miya’s projects are already being felt: “This company is part of Shari’s vision, and a revolution,” he says.

While Arison is known for her philanthropic activities – one includes the Essence of Life alternative news portal – through Miya she combines both her passion for making the world a better place, and her business smarts.

No need for new waterwheels

Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, says Oren: “We found in this arena a few existing wheels. The needs were there. We just created a new vehicle.”

Miya’s solution is based on proven technologies that favor selective pipe replacement methodology over massive infrastructure overhauls. The company now holds the largest accumulated experience and knowledge in creating comprehensive, practical solutions for municipal distribution systems worldwide in water loss management, according to the company.

“I believe that through business and philanthropy, it is possible to make positive changes on a global level,” Arison explained. “I have a personal responsibility and obligation to do everything in my power to lead towards a better future for us and for that of the generations to come.”

Intended to help all in need, even those without proper diplomatic relations to Israel – Miya expects to also help Muslims in Muslim Middle East nations, through its global presence and its registered business in Luxembourg.

In Israel for example, it is reported that Israel’s water authority has been supplying Palestinians enough drinking water, as per the latest peace accord. The problem is that the water they receive is not being distributed or recycled properly.

Solutions provided by Miya may be able to help this problem, and many more, from slipping through the cracks – or more appropriately – from going down the drain.

About Karin Kloosterman

Karin Kloosterman lives in Jaffa, Israel. She is a journalist, writer and blogger who focuses on the environment and clean technology from Israel and the Middle East. Published in hundreds of newspapers around the world, Karin also writes for the Huffington Post and Green Prophet.