Science

Clear Water for Everybody.

790 million people don’t have clean water; 3,4 million people are dying from diseases caused by not having clean water.

How to clean water

There is a big problem in the world which people might not even know about. The awareness of this problem is much lower than we would like it to be. Imagine someone is now sitting in front of a computer and drinking a glass of clean water. This situation might seem ordinary as it is most likely a part of your daily routine, but it is not an act daily for everyone. In some countries, kids have to travel around many kilometres each day to get water, and usually, it is not even clean. So, the question is how we could fix this problem?

There is an ongoing competition that uses clever engineering to separate solid and liquid waste and transform it into safe and drinkable water. A lot of the projects were successful but I would like to present you with one of the best.

The cleaning toilet technology

It is a toilet that uses no external power and water. When you close the toilet, it sets certain gears in motion that let the waste fall into a holding tank. The tank spins and a blade located on the inside cleans it.

This way the solids are separated from the liquid. The solids travel by a spinning wheel to a burn chamber. The solids turn into odorless dust which is also free of bacteria. This dust is then transported to a box. This box needs to be cleared once a week.

While the solids go through the process above, the liquid goes to a membrane where it is cleaned, filtered, and disinfected. That is how we can get clean and drinkable water from waste. People may ask themselves, “Is this our only option to get water cleaned?”

 Cleaning water is a broad problem that cannot be solved with only one solution. Therefore, no, it is definitely not the only way to clean water. 

Another way to contribute to this project can be the LifeSaver bottles and their innovative technology developed by Michael Pritchard.

Filtered bottle

The technology the bottle uses is mainly based on a new filter. In 2009, Pritchard presented his project in a TED talk along with a demonstration. According to Michael Pritchard: “Before LifeSaver, the best hand filters were only capable of filtering down to about 200 nanometers.” The world’s smallest bacteria, known as Mycoplasma Genitalium, has an average-sizeof 200 nanometers. The smallest virus has an average size of 25 nanometers. This way the filters do not provide a 100% safety.

As presented by Pritchard the new LifeSaver technology has 15-nanometerpores which present a great improvement. They also increase the safety of the water. The bottle has been designed to close off if any of the components are faulty. This way it manages to be as secure as possible.

The design of the system is transferable into other containers. It doesn’t need to serve only in a bottle. The technology is simple. The bottles are easy to use as well. The durability of the bottle is stated to be up to 6,000 liters. Pritchard assured that this is no problem and the inside of the bottle could be replaced which makes it reusable for a long period.      

There is no one global solution to the problem of cleaning water, but many small ones, such as a toilet that filters its waste and LifeSaver bottles, can make a difference in the world and save many lives with their implications.

What people may think about it

We need water to survive, and that is why it is also the subject of international disagreements. The topic of rare water resources and related conflicts must also be used in geography lessons to educate students about this topic.

Water scarcity causes deaths and affects other areas of life, such as education, nutrition, agriculture, and the health system. Water-related disputes can concern access to water, for example, during dry periods or dependence on a neighbouring country, consumption (in the event of an environmental accident), but also trade in it (examples of privatisation of local resources, currently in South America). Population growth in areas dependent on water supply, pollution, or sudden ecological crises as well as global warming, is contributing to rising tensions. In addition to states, local actors and transnational corporations or international organizations often participate in these disputes. Therefore, students need to acknowledge the fact that water and its consequences lead to big problems.

The topic of limited water resources is suitable for geography lessons. It links physical and human geography while drawing attention to the broader impacts of water scarcity. In class, students can identify other risk areas in the world where disputes over water resources could arise in the future. Areas with rivers flowing through several countries, especially in arid climates and with a higher population concentration, may be key. Whether and since the estimates derived from physical geography are confirmed, students can then find out within the human geography framework or knowledge from history.

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  1. what a great video! The man in green, wow!

  2. 1. I do not know 2. No it’s not we still have time 3. No we can still change our…

  3. Lunita Svitek on Social

    I think it is exactly the same as when a woman and man raise children, there is nothing a same-sex…

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