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DayOne Response’s Tricia Compas-Markman: Changing How We Respond to Disasters

In times of disaster, clean drinking water becomes a rarity, but a necessity. Engineer and designer Patricia Compas-Markman dedicates her work to addressing this need, innovating technology that will give disaster victims, soldiers, or anyone in distress with purified water. As a part of with Engineers Without Borders, she worked on creating water treatment system for a rural village in Thailand.

It was 2005, a tsunami had struck South Asia and Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. “Just to know that within minutes, within seconds basic needs can be taken away,” Compas-Markman recalls. “Our professor said we have an opportunity working on water and sanitation solutions to change the course on how people are living and to actually prevent diseases and saves live.”

A year later, she created the prototype for the DayOne Response Waterbag—a portable pouch that collects, treats, transfers, and stores water. The bag is a combination of a camel bag and a water filter. Users collect unclean water and, by adding a Procter and Gamble purifying packet, watch the water and sediment separate before pouring a clean, hydrating stream.

After completing the project, instead of pursuing a job in an engineering firm, Compas-Markman invested in her ingenuity and started her own business, bringing the water bag to the market. The response was overwhelmingly supportive — receiving praise from government agencies, disaster relief non-profits, the military, and an award from the Clinton Foundation. Women in the World and Toyota are thrilled to extend such recognition and call Compas-Markman a Mother of Invention.