Providing safe water for drinking and cooking is a constant challenge in every major disaster response effort and the primary mission of the Roddenberry Disaster Team (DRT). Our charter is to deliver purified water from any freshwater source within a disaster zone to survivors and to relief workers. Our efforts not only address a critical need, but also significantly reduce an expensive and environmentally challenging logistical burden.
For example, in 2010 Nestle donated 22 truckloads of bottled water within a week of the earthquake in Haiti. Altogether, the company delivered more than 3 million liters of water valued at over $1 million, most of it in half-liter plastic bottles. Five years earlier during the response to Hurricane Katrina, it was a similar scene:
It was a nearly identical scene at the Tacloban airfield in Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and at the Oso Landslide near Seattle in 2014.
The Roddenberry Disaster Shield System will literally change the picture. Our initial goal was to install systems capable of providing 500 gallons of clean water per day. We are now able to deliver eight times that much water, generating as much water in a day, every day, as could be delivered in more than three dedicated C-130 emergency transport aircraft. In turn, those very expensive cargo planes can be freed up for food, shelter and medical supplies, and ferrying relief workers in, and survivors out, of the disaster zone.
By the Numbers...
The cost of a single C-130 flight delivering a load of bottled water can be as much or more as an entire Disaster Shield System capable of delivering the same amount of water every two days for years on end.
• The standard plastic water bottle for disaster response is a half-liter (500 ml) and weighs 2.2 pounds.
• One gallon = 3.8 liters
• The Roddenberry DRT plan, at its lowest capacity, will generate 500 gallons per day, which is roughly 1,900 liters, replacing 3,800 plastic bottles every day, which tallies up to 26,000 bottles every week and 115,000 bottles every month.
• 115,000 half-liter bottles weigh 250,000 pounds. They have to be air-lifted into a disaster zone and the empties, if possible, air-lifted out.
• There are 24 half-liter bottles in a plastic-wrapped case and 54 cases in a standard 463L pallet. A C-130 cargo plane configured for disaster relief can hold six 463L pallets. That's 7,776 bottles collectively carrying a little over 1,000 gallons and weighing more than 17,000 pounds, plus pallets.
• A C-130H uses Jet-A1 fuel at a rate of roughly 2,300 liters per hour during normal flight. At an average cost of $1.50 per liter that's $3,450 per hour.
• For a transport requiring one hour flights each way, the bill for fuel alone comes to nearly $7,000, to which the costs of the flight crew, logistics team, forklift team, landing fees, plane maintenance and more must be added.
• Bottles of water have a conservatively estimated value of $0.40 (forty cents) per, which tallies up to $3,110 for a fully loaded C-130 carrying 7,776 bottles.