One of the biggest issues facing humanity at the moment is the global water crisis, with demand already outstripping supply in many parts of the world and the number of populations having to deal with water shortages on the rise, as a result.
With the pressures of climate change increasingly being felt as time goes on, coupled with a growing population, extreme weather events, urbanisation and ageing infrastructure, it’s important to find new ways to help protect global water resources – and it seems that there are many enterprising organisations out there now doing just that.
This article on the Interesting Engineering website has revealed just a few of the technologies now being developed that could help address these issues and help resolve the world’s clean drinking water crisis, such as the Warka Water Tower, a 30ft structure covered in nylon netting.
This netting collects dew, which then falls to the bottom of the tower where it can be harvested – apparently capable of capturing 26 gallons of potable water each day, which is enough to meet the needs of a small village.
And then there’s the Orbital Shower System, which works by collecting shower water after it has been used and repurifies it so it can be recycled through the showerhead once again, creating a system that works without loss of water. It can save 90 per cent of water usage when showering, so could be used to great effect in places facing serious water scarcity.
Desalination is also an option but it is an energy-intensive process, so it’s exciting to learn that scientists at Shinshu University in Japan are now looking into how graphene coatings can be used for filtration membranes, functioning at high flow rates, to help make the desalination process more efficient and more scalable.
Access to filtration capabilities is also a concern for many places around the world and researchers at Carnegie Mellon University now developing a product called The Drinkable Book, each page of which can be used to filter out 99 per cent of bacteria from water. Impressively, each book has enough pages to provide a person with clean drinking water for up to four years.
While you might not think we have water scarcity issues here in the UK, parts of the country are expected to see shortages in as little as ten years’ time, so it’s important that we all become more responsible where our water consumption and usage is concerned.
From a business perspective, there is a lot that can be achieved in this regard and prioritising water efficiency would be an excellent new year’s resolution to make.