In developing countries people have to struggle every day due to lack of clean drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, every year, around 3.4 million people die from water-related illnesses. It seems that things are about to change with this revolutionary invention, the drinkable book, developed by the Water Is Life organization.
Accessing clean water often means waiting in line for a truck to haul it to you, boiling it or running it through a water filter (which is expensive for people struggling to survive). The reality is that most of the people do not clean it at all and they lack even the basic knowledge of what untreated water can do to their health.
The Human Health Impact is incredible and here are just a few facts:
- Worldwide, infectious diseases such as waterborne diseases are the number one killer of children under five years old and more people die from unsafe water annually than from all forms of violence, including war.
- Unsafe or inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene cause approximately 3.1 percent of all deaths worldwide, and 3.7 percent of DALYs (disability adjusted life years) worldwide.
- In some regions, more than 50% of native freshwater fish species are at risk of extinction, and nearly one-third of the world’s amphibians are at risk of extinction.
- There has been widespread decline in biological health in inland (non-coastal) waters. Globally, 24 percent of mammals and 12 percent of birds connected to inland waters are considered threatened.
- Poor countries with access to clean water and sanitation services experienced faster economic growth than those without.
Having clean water should be a human right and here is where the organization Water Is Life comes into play. They hope that their invention will change the world and provide clean water for everyone. The organization is trying to simplify the water purification process with a high design solution and this is how the Drinkable Book was born. It looks just like a regular book that you would keep on your coffee table, but it is more than it looks. This little book is a full-on water purification system that is designed to save lives.
You may also like: How to filter water in the wild.
Each page of the book is an independent filter that can clean up to 100 liters of water, roughly a 30 day supply for someone living in a third world country. This means that a person can use this book and obtain up to four years of clean water. The secret of this amazing book lies in the paper, a special kind of paper developed by the researches at Carnegie Mellon and University of Virginia. The paper is coated in silver nano particles that kill bacteria.
A new strategy for cleaning water – The Drinkable Book:
The Drinkable Book isn’t a classical water filter and it works a little different than we might think. While most of the commercial water filters trap harmful content the Drinkable Book aims to kill bacteria once it passes through the paper and absorbs the silver ions. Liquid drips through the thick paper like coffee seeps through the filter in a pour-over cup and into a box.
The project’s lead scientist, Theresa Dankovich assures us that this design is quite practical.
In order to make the paper for the Drinkable Book, Dankovich soaks it in a bath of silver ions and a chemical reduction agent. From there she drains the bath and heats the paper at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes. After the paper is full of silver nano particles it gets rinsed and dried again. The result is a rust orange color you see in the book.
Although making the Drinkable Book is a science-heavy process things went in the right direction and with the help of Brian Gartside, a designer at DDB, a system was designed to turn this into something that can be easily used in developing countries. In an effort to educate the people using the book, each page comes printed with guidelines and tips for safe water consumption.
Right now the paper and chemicals needed to produce the Drinkable Book is cheaper than most other water-filtration mechanisms and the creators predict that it is something that will be widely used. Regarding the Drinkable Book, Dankovich says that “It doesn’t require power and it’s very intuitive” and together with the main team they field tested some form of the book and they are looking to have a commercially viable product ready for 2015.
Here is a video presenting the Drinkable Book:
Having revolutionary products like the Drinkable Book that can help clean water or even produce it will increase the survival chance for anyone. Here is video of another revolutionary system that helps you produce fresh and clean water.
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Stay Safe and God Bless!
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