In early 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized that clean continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use is a basic human right for everyone on this planet.
Safe and readily available water is one of the largest public health issues across the globe, affecting the lives of millions and millions of people in almost every region on this planet. The issue of clean drinking water is far more common than you think and can even be economically devastating to a specified region.
Yet, the problem of clean water is still plaguing the planet. According to the World Health Organization, 844 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water.
While 2 billion people use a drinking source of water contaminated with feces, carrying diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio.
To tackle this issue, engineers and innovators in many industries have designed and engineered products that could help alleviate this problem and very literally save many people’s lives.
Probably the most well-known product on this list, the LifeStraw is a cheap but effective design for those who have little to no access to clean water.
The cigar-shaped tube allows users to drink from almost any water source, filtering out anything that may be harmful to the drinker, including but not limited to, heavy metals and disease-carrying pathogens.
The LifeStraw product has a hollow fiber membrane that traps contaminants like bacteria, and parasites and chemicals.
The award-winning design is both portable and easily accessible to those who need access to clean water, making it a powerful tool in the fight against the water crisis.
The LifeStraw team is very passionate about what they do.
“We’re on a mission to redefine the safe drinking water space through technology, innovation, product quality, and design. We work with governments, donors, and individual consumers, like yourself, to understand the need for safer water, says the LifeStraw team”.
“At LifeStraw, we believe everyone deserves safe drinking water. Our intent to meet this basic human need is what drives us to build our products.”
Like a mini water purification factory, the Cycloclean is a bicycle water cleaning system that can give you access to clean water by simply peddling away.
Without the need of a battery or engine, the Cycloclean is perfect for disaster solutions, or areas with very little to no electricity whether the bike is stationary or you are riding it.
The Cycloclean is driven by pedaling the bike to operate the filter system attached to the back of the bike. The cheap bike can purify as much as 6 liters of rainwater, river water, or lake water in just under one minute, providing clean water for about 150 people an hour.
With the 4 filters, a pre-filter and 3 regular filters, the Cycloclean filters out dirt, bacteria, and smell from the raw water.
Created by Japanese based company Nippon Basic Co, the team is eagerly working on lowering the cost even more for the Cycloclean so that it can be more accessible to people around the world.
The Cycloclean has already proven useful in natural disaster situations in Japan.
Pure Water Bottle
While traveling through Zambia, industrial designer Timothy Whitehead was troubled seeing how people would go about purifying their contaminated water.
The locals were dependent on chlorine and iodine tablets to clean their water, a process that takes 30 minutes to complete and has a horrible taste.
Timothy Whitehead decided to design a bottle that could not only purify water quickly and effectively but also provide drinkers a delicious clean taste.
Winning the prestigious James Dyson Award, his Pure Water bottle can sterilize impure water in just two minutes.
The bottle uses a UV bulb, double chamber, and plunger that removes particles as small as four microns from contaminated H20, making the water 99.9% clean.
The Solar Ball looks like your hamster’s favorite toy. Created by graduate student Jonathan Liow, a graduate at Monash University, the SolarBall is a solar-powered water purifier.
With the aim of providing clean water in areas that lack it, the Solarball can produce 3 liters or just over 3 quarts of clean water every day in sunny areas.
Monash University describes how the SolarBall works perfectly stating, "The spherical unit absorbs sunlight and causes dirty water contained inside to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, contaminants are separated from the water, generating drinkable condensation. The condensation is collected and stored, ready for drinking.”
Though it is not officially ready for manufacturing and the design does pose some logistical issues, the SolarBall does hold promise and is a great stepping stone for a viable water filtration product.
Life Sack Water Purifier
Designed by the talented Jung Uk Park, Myeong Hoon Lee, and Dae Youl Lee, the Life Sack Water Purifier is a well thought out water purification system.
The water purification system takes into consideration how individuals in the Underdeveloped Countries go about collecting water on a daily basis.
The Life Sack Water Purifier cleans water using a solar disinfection technology that involves killing deadly contaminants through thermal treatment and UVA-radiation.
Designed for easy transport, the water cleaning system is equipped with backpack straps making the system double as food transporter.
Have you seen any well-designed water purification systems lately?