Why on earth does not everyone have pure water to drink?

A spectacular change in World Health is now possible

In the future, everyone will enjoy a few litres of healthy drinking water per day.

Water is not a high cost commodity. Everyone should be able to afford a few litres of good drinking water per day. Yet, at least half a million people die each year from infected or poisonous water and billions suffer acute and/or chronic diseases.

Separate supply of drinking water

The concept of Local production and distribution of drinking water is a thoroughly researched and tested invention that makes small and medium sized local water plants possible.

These plants will make absolutely pure water. By adding a healthy mineral formula, it will become superior drinking water. The water will be distributed in reusable containers to people in the vicinity. The cost per litre, including capital and running cost, will be equivalent to around 2 €c. A study made jointly by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Stockholm, Sweden and Grameen Shakti, Dhaka, Bangladesh that was financed by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) shows that these local plants are feasible and will be suitable for microcredit financing.

The technology has already been tested for treating water contaminated by arsenic or fluoride but will now be launched on a broader scale to treat any type of water, including sea water into locally produced healthy everyday drinking water.

No results yet from half a century of UN conferences.

The international Drinking Water Decade 1981-1990: The 1977 United Nations ‘Water Conference’ at Mar del Plata set up an International Drinking Water Decade, 1981-1990. Its aim was to make access to clean drinking water available across the world. https://www.un.org/en/events/waterdecade/background.shtml

The second International Water Decade 2005-2015: Given the magnitude of the task, in December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly, in resolution A/RES/58/217, proclaimed the period 2005-2015 International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’. The decade officially started on World Water Day, March 22, 2005. It was called the second International Water Decade. https://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade

The third International Decade 2018 – 2028: In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly again unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” to help put a greater focus on water during ten years. In December 2017 UN Member States adopted United Nations General Assembly resolution 71/222 on an International Decade for Action on ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ 2018-2028. https://wateractiondecade.org

Much progress has been made, but still several hundreds of thousands of people die from unsafe water every year and the health of billions is impaired by infected or poisonous water. In fact, availability of water is still one of humanities greatest problems and in many places the situation has even deteriorated. As a challenge it is at par with armed conflicts, malnourishment, infectious diseases and sanitation.

A new approach to drinking water is needed

Good quality all-purpose piped water is a must in any advanced society. Now the piped water can be complemented with drinking water of the highest quality – locally purified and distributed in reusable containers. Piped water and drinking water are entirely different products/services and cannot be lumped together as they have been done until now.

First of all, there must be a decoupling of the concept “Water and Sanitation”. “Water and sanitation” have this far been used in most UN conferences, statements and documentation as if they were two sides of the same coin. They are generally also mentioned in the same breath in all sustainability development goals. Flushing of toilets and drinking water is included in the same mental package of infrastructure technologies. This has been a real drag for the development of drinking water. Both clean water and good sanitation are extremely important. But that does not mean that we should flush our toilets with the same water as we drink.

Secondly, there must be a dissevering of drinking water and all-purpose water. The perception until today has been that all water should be treated more or less to the same standard, whether used for drinking and cooking, or showering, or flushing of toilets or watering gardens and lawns. Also, this view has been a drag for the development of drinking water. The cost of treating all water to drinking water standard may often be prohibiting, especially in warm climates.

Leap-frog from the most advanced research and development

The core technology that will be used in the plants for local manufacture and distribution of drinking water has been developed for the semiconductor industry where there is a need to remove everything from process water down to the smallest (Sub-10 nm) nano-particles. The standard is called Ultra-Pure Water, Type1. Samples can be ordered at www.type1water.com

The technology is also being developed as a Life-support component for long term manned missions in space, where, apart from health, compactness and safety are the main considerations, www.hydromars.eu.

Both these uses have been awarded a Seal of Excellence by the EU innovation program Horizon 2020 SME, signalling that they are important parts pf Europe’s future industrial landscape. Now this technology will bring benefits also to the rest of the world.