Although the majority of us take for granted things like drinking clean water, washing the car and watering the lawn, there are a lot of people who are struggling with the lack of clean water.
The majority of these people are living in Africa, where, because of pollution, drought, regional conflicts and mismanagement, millions of people die because of water-related causes.
One of the solutions that Engineers Without Borders USA came up with is a bio filter that cleans the water. The concept is based on bio sand filters and the first one has been installed in Cameroon, in the village of Nkuv.
The system consists in several layers of gravel and sand in an iron mold, having a concrete base. In 3 weeks there will be a biolayer formed that is able to remove about 99% of the bacteria . The rate of the filter is of one liter per minute and in the end it offers clean and safe-to-drink water.
Although it is easy to mistake it for a hamster ball or a kid’s toy, the ‘Solarball’, that has been created by Jonathon Liow, is also able to create clean water, using nothing but dirty, polluted water and sunlight. This method is able to clean 3 liters of water everyday.
The main idea of ‘Solarball’ is that is uses the direct sunlight in order to make the dirty water evaporate and condense. This way the clean water will be pulled to another container, while the dirt and the contaminations will remain in the first compartment.
The advantage of the spherical design is that it is able to collect and capture light (and heat) from 360 degrees.
Although at the moment this new method is able to produce quite little water, it might be the starting point of a new product that would be able to save lives in those regions where fresh water represents a problem.
There is another project that takes the previously presented ones to a whole new level. The main purpose of this one is to make the African deserts more suitable for agriculture.
According to statistics, although about 57% of the inhabitants of the continent are involved in some kind of agricultural activity, only 10% of the land is truly suitable for this.
The introduction of a system able to transform the water vapors into irrigation by processing the hot African air is truly revolutionary and it will make a difference in the quest of making the African desert a cultivated land.