The global water crisis has many causes, requiring many different solutions. As 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity, these solutions must span policy, technology, and behaviour change to make a real difference.
A number of technological innovations address the crisis in novel ways. We asked two water experts – Vincent Casey, senior water and sanitation adviser at WaterAid, and Hannah Safford, an energy and environmental policy analyst – to assess some of the most creative approaches.
In partnership with non-profit Water is Life, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed this education and filtration tool. Each page of the book provides basic water and sanitation advice, such as the importance of keeping contaminants like rubbish and faeces away from water, often unknown in developing countries. Perhaps more novel is that the advice is printed on “scientific coffee filter” paper that can be used to purify drinking water and reduce 99.9% of bacteria. Each book has enough filtration sheets to provide its reader with clean water for four years. It’s being distributed in Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, Ethiopia, India and Tanzania, and a Farsi version of the book is in development.