This month we interviewed Eli Cohen, Founder and CEO of Ayala Water & Ecology. Ayala has developed the 'Natural Biological System'™, a sustainable natural technology for treating sewage and waste streams, rehabilitating affected water bodies, and rebalancing watersheds. Ranging in scope from acid mine drainage remediation in Chile to urban sewage treatment in India, the NBS™ is changing the global water-energy equation, reducing dependence on energy and maintenance, freeing up valuable water resources for on-site usage, and most of all, restoring nature’s ability to preserve and protect itself. Check out this article covering Ayala's work to clean Delhi's most polluting drain.
Tell us about Ayala Established in 1989, Ayala Water & Ecology is a company of sustainability experts with internationally recognized experience in Nature-Based Wastewater Treatment (MBWWT), environmental rehabilitation and integral design of watershed management, using only natural energy free tools, to restore balance to the environment, mimicking nature. Ayala's vision is to transform the approach to watershed management toward global water security, Carbon Footprint reduction, and regaining sustainable global environmental balance.
Our mission is to provide the world with the tools to pursue a more holistic approach to water management, breaking the Water-Energy Nexus, and reducing to a minimum the dependence on human intervention and the use of non-renewable energy, providing clean water for all. In 2014, Ayala Natural Biological Systems Pvt. Ltd. was founded in India, to address locally the massive challenges of this sub-continent. In 2018 Ayala PNBS Ltd was founded to address the global demand for sustainable water security to villages and remote communities. What is special about Ayala’s approach to the water treatment sector? Our deeper values are truly driven by high words such as sustainability, back with nature, reversing climate change, and Nature-Based Solutions. Eli Cohen, the founder and manager of Ayala Water & Ecology, a visionary and a thought leader on water treatment and water management solutions, is carrying this flag for over 30 years now. However, Ayala Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are also leading solutions in all operational performance KPIs, and economical aspects. ALL Ayala Nature Based Solutions have close to zero maintenance costs. They have no mechanical and electrical parts to wear off and amortize. They match or exceed the clean water values they are set to manage, and they turn the wastewater treatment site into a beautiful 'Active landscape' which grow with and serve the community as part of everyday life at the Urban, Industrial and agricultural zones while providing water security and reducing Carbon footprint What are some projects that Ayala has done in developing countries and what has the impact been? Although Ayala has designed and implemented an impressive number of solutions in developing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and more it is yet a 'drop in the sea' compare to the actual and growing need, but nevertheless, the impact of those comparably small number of solutions is quite amazing considering the continuous encouraging on-going feedbacks from customers and beyond that the exponentially growing demand from governments, municipalities, NGOs, industries and of course privates. It feels like the Nature-Based Solution (NBS) is being acknowledged as a future mainstream solution approach. What was your personal motivation to engage in this field? I do what I do because I enjoy it and because I deeply believe in it as the only solution to reversing climate change phenomenons which threaten our children's future. Life prepared me for this amazing 'adventure' through my academic background, continuous experiences worldwide, agricultural background, and open intuitive mind. I believe that wisely following your heart and guts guide you to your own destiny, in this case, it is the environment. What is your advice for Israeli entrepreneurs that want to build companies that address development challenges? To be an entrepreneur and not just a manager you need to: deeply believe in your product/idea, patience, mental stamina, learn to enjoy the voyage as well, rather than only the 'success', learn to share and choose the right partners and even better the right investors; and some luck and good timing always help.