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July 7, 2020

Water as a Resource, Human Right, and its Insecurity

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EPISODE DETAILS -

19
MIN

Last year the world fought some of the world's worst forest fires across the west coast of North America and across Australia. California was struggling to find available sources of water it could use to fight these fires, while some organizations are fighting to remove water as a human right, such as Nestle. We discuss the future of water and how over 30% of the human population is affected by water scarcity, and what companies around the world are doing to solve this critical issue.

Portable Sunlight-Powered Purifier

An inexpensive solar still that uses sunlight to purify dirty water 4 times faster with raw materials that cost less than $2 per square meter. In many places of the world, the problem isn't that there is not enough water but that the water is contaminated. In developing countries, 80 percent of sewage is discharged untreated into waterways. That's why Innovative Water Technologies developed water filtration systems like the SunSpring Hybrid a self-contained portable solar and wind-powered system that provides 20,000 liters of clean water a day for 10 years or more.

Fog Catchers: Magicians Making Water Out Of Air

In some places, groundwater supplies have been used up and entire villages and regions have a severe water shortage including the Sidi Ifni region of Morocco. But what this region has is an abundance of fog. That is why Dar Si Hmad, a nonprofit, has installed fog collectors on the slopes of Mount Boutmezguida in what is now the largest fog-harvesting project in the world. Around 6,300 liters of water can be harvested daily.

The process is not complicated, the mist is caught as it passes through a weave of large vertical nets and trickles into a collection system where it is filtered and mixed with groundwater. The water is piped into five villages to provide clean and safe water for 400 people. This technology is not new, but recent advancements have made it much more efficient. There are also fog catching systems in Chile, Peru, South Africa, Ghana, Eritrea, and California.

The LifeStraw

The portable drinking straw was created by Vestergaard –  a global company innovating solutions that contribute to a healthier and more sustainable world – and filters dirty unsafe water to make it safe to drink. The straw purifies a minimum of 1,000 liters of water and removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and parasites through a unique filtration system. There are also high-capacity water purifiers for emergency preparedness and emergency response teams. Now available in steel instead of plastic.

The Drinkable Book

The nonprofit Water is Life in partnership with researchers at Carnegie Melton created an education and water filtration tool in the form of a drinkable book. Every page contains basic water and sanitation advice that is printed on scientific coffee filter paper that can be used to purify water and reduce 99.9 percent of bacteria. Each book – distributed in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Haiti – can provide clean water for four years for a single person.

Sources

Fog Catcher | The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation

Sunny Clean Water LLC

WaterSeer is a low-tech, low cost atmospheric water condenser that could help create water self sufficiently

UTEC - Potable Water Generator

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