Water Access to Millions
Access to clean drinking water is a growing problem. There are 2.3 billion people around the world facing water availability issues every day. Problems come from rising global drought patterns, lack of access to groundwater, water contamination, and waterborne illness. Almost a third of the global population does not have access to clean drinking water. A possible solution, called the Waterseer Project, may be hitting the market in late spring 2017. The Waterseer Project aims to increase access to water, as well as to treat the water through a distillation process.

So how does this Waterseer device actually work? There is no use of power or chemicals involved in the extraction of water from the air. A compact wind turbine directs air into a condensation chamber that is planted six feet below the earth, where temperatures are constant and cooler than above-ground temperatures. This temperature exchange condenses the water molecules into liquid form, and also serves as a distillation process to remove some contaminants.

The Waterseer Project was founded by Ikhlaq Sidhu in 2015. Preliminary research was conducted at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology in Berkeley, California. They joined forces with the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), who has been involved in the initial field trials at UC Berkeley and has agreed to additional trial runs in targeted countries where they operate. The project then joined forces with the Jacobs Institute for Design at UC Berkeley, where current developments on the second round of product prototypes are taking place thanks to their successful crowdfunding campaign. After the design phase and lab trial period in the late spring 2017, the prototype will be trialed in different outdoor field locations with the help of the NPCA.

The possible implications of this device are vast and far-reaching, but as with every potential development project, technology is only a part of the solution; policy, politics and management must all be aligned to ensure success.

Joshua Ward

Photo: Flickr

Two Innovative Solutions for Cleaner Water
As recently as 2013, the United Nations reported that 783 million people across the planet do not have access to clean water and another 2.5 billion people have inadequate sanitation. With demand for food predicted to rise 50 percent by 2030, new and innovative solutions for cleaner water are needed more than ever.

One company actively researching solutions for cleaner water is the Austrian solar company, Pumpmakers. This company develops solar powered water pumps for use anywhere in the world via either the DIY Solar Pump or the larger scale PM Solar Pump System. This Solar Pump System has application beyond drinking water for families, enabling water access for agriculture, irrigation, livestock and fish farming.

The DIY pump is capable of pumping 18,000 liters of clean water per day, and the Solar Pump System delivers up to 50,000 liters per hour. Intentionally affordable and easy to use, these pump systems also require minimal maintenance.

The technology is utilized by countries such as Cameroon, where pumps supply the village of Ndoki with clean water for its 5,000 people.

Another, perhaps even more inventive solution for cleaner water comes in the form of the Waterseer pump, capable of cultivating water literally out of thin air.

The pump uses a wind turbine to draw air into the underground water chamber, where the change in temperature will cause condensation. The result is clean, safe water that uses a simple yet effective filtration system to keep foreign particles out of the water chamber.

The Waterseer pump is currently capable of producing 11 gallons of water each day and will continue to be optimized over time to increase clean water production for areas around the world.

UC Berkeley and the National Peace Corps Association have already teamed up with Waterseer to make an impact. Given that it is a non-profit group, 100 percent of all proceeds go to further developing the technology.

Access to clean water is a necessity for human life, so much so that in some water-scarce regions people are forced to give up six hours of their day to retrieve water that may be unsafe for consumption to survive. Continued research and support are instrumental in fighting the world’s water crisis and ensuring a better life for the entire planet.

Aaron Walsh

Photo: Flickr