The future of real-time purification for developing countries

Solving the global water contamination crisis

The Water Crisis

The Water Contamination Crisis

An E Coli breakout in Uganda that killed thousands of people
  1. Anthropogenic activities (mining and smelting operations, industrial production and use, and domestic and agricultural use of metals)
  2. Open defecation

TL;DR:

  • Heavy metal contaminants come from anthropogenic activities. For example, acid rain will break down soils and release heavy metals into the water. (Acid rain is usually experienced in the month of August after the mid-year dry season in Uganda.)
  • E Coli is found in animal feces (mainly cattle) and animals in Uganda are defecating in the open which is contaminating water sources.
  • Cholera is passed along through water sources that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Over 3 million people in rural Uganda practice open defecation.
  • Typhoid is commonly passed through using toilets that have contaminated feces and touching your face/mouth before thoroughly washing your hands. This means drinking water from water sources contaminated with infected feces (Over 3 million people in rural Uganda practice open defecation) .will expose people to Typhoid.

Existing Solutions

Boiling

Solar Disinfection

Biosand Filters

Diffrent types if Biosand filters

The future of real-time purification

  1. Cost — people living in developing countries don’t have hundreds of dollars sitting around.
  2. Sustainability — I wanted to ensure that the water source wasn't something that constantly had to be replaced because that’s a huge inconvenience.
  3. What the system filtered out — if the method I was exploring didn’t filter out everything in the water the implementation wouldn’t have been very useful.

Dewgood — Harvesting Water From Air

Zero mass water — Creating Drinking Water by Combining Sunlight and Air

What the product looks like
  1. Solar energy powers the panel completely off-grid.
  2. Fans draw in ambient air and push it through a hygroscopic (a water-absorbing material) that traps water vapour from the air.
  3. The water vapour is extracted and passively condenses into a liquid that is collected in the reservoir.
  4. Minerals are added to the water to make it distilled.

Gravity Water — Using Rain Water

Rainwater harvesting set up for one of Gravity Water’s systems at a public school in Kathmandu, Nepal

Limitations

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