Solving the water crisis... how?

Innovation isn’t always hard, it’s about unlocking the potential of the existing resources for sustainable solutions.

Did you know that you can survive up to three weeks without food (exampled by Mahatma Ghandi), but only up to a week1 without water? That’s how important water is to human survival, but till today, not everyone has access to sufficient and clean water.

Innovators are helping tackle this water crisis with sustainable and innovative solutions to increase the access to clean and safe drinking water.

1. Hippo roller

Women in South Africa are typically tasked to collect water for the family. Often, they would walk long distances and then carry a heavy bucket (about 18 litres) back on their heads. And they might need to make more than one trip a day.

To make these trips easier and more efficient, two engineers designed the hippo roller2. Similar to a wheelbarrow except the ‘wheel’ is actually a container that can store about 90 litres of water, the hippo roller allows women to collect almost five times more water in a single trip. Needing to only roll it across the ground, they also save themselves from potential injury.

It’s designed for rough terrain including gravel roads and sharp stones, and one can last for about 5 to 10 years.

2. WaterSeer

What about the communities that are situated even further away from freshwater bodies? Innovators have now made it possible for people to quench their thirst almost anywhere.

The WaterSeer channels air underground via wind turbines, where it cools and water from the air condenses. The water that is extracted is pure and clean, and about 11 gallons (41 litres) of pure, clean water can be extracted from the air per day, claim its developers Vici Labs.

With this solar-powered device, water is made more accessible — and sustainably — for rural communities and at minimal cost. It’s literally made out of thin air!

3. LifeStraws

It isn’t only access to water that’s the problem today. The majority of the world’s freshwater bodies is polluted, and often communities can’t afford to treat this water chemically. But that doesn’t mean that they have to drink the water as is. LifeStraw3 prevents just that, and is a simple enough solution that everyone — men, women or children — can use.

It’s a literal straw that is fit with a hollow fibre membrane and a carbon capsule. These remove contaminants, chemicals, bacteria and parasites, so users drink only clean and safe water. One straw can also filter 4,000 litres of water — that’s enough water for a single individual for five years.

Our water crisis might still take a while to solve, but sustainable and innovative solutions are helping to alleviate the situation. Innovators are unlocking the potential of the existing resources. Likewise, discover how you can unlock the potential of your investments with the help of Eastspring Investments.


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