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A novel community-scale, solar-powered approach to treating unsafe surface water for drinking
 
 
 
 

A novel community-scale, solar-powered approach to treating unsafe surface water for drinking

 
Prof. Samuel Dorevitch
 
School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
 
 

Desertification is increasing the stress on available water resources, threatening population health. Globally, surfaces waters are used for waste disposal, transportation, and commerce but are unsafe drinking may become essential for meeting societal needs. Sustainable methods are needed for treating such waters so that they can be used safely for drinking. We describe a solar-powered system that has been deployed in Western Kenya that produces 1,000L of drinking water in three hours. The system draws surface water with very high concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria, and produces water that is has undetectable levels of bacteria. The water treatment process, technological innovation, community partnerships, and efficacy data discussed. The scalability and sustainability of the system will be determinants of whether approaches such as this one may be useful in parts of the world that are becoming hotter and drier as the climate continues to warm.