Clean, Clear Water Clean, Clear Water
Infographic Issue 016

Clean, Clear Water

July 24, 2009
Clay Filters
The LifeStraw

The easiest solution to water treatment might be one you hold in your hand. The LifeStraw works just like a normal straw, if that straw contained several different water-purification methods within it. Users can drink dirty water through the $5 straw, and the suction pulls the water through two filters and an iodine-filled chamber, cleaning the water of parasites, bacteria, and viruses.

The Slingshot

The inventor Dean Kamen has been working for many years on the Slingshot, a water purifier that runs on very little energy, and uses simple vaporization to purify the water (the water evaporates and then is cooled back into water in a separate chamber, the bad stuff stays behind). It produces about 250 gallons of clean water a day, and can clean anything from seawater to urine. Why hasn't the Slingshot solved our world's water problems yet? Currently, each prototype costs more than $100,000; Kamen's goal is to lower that cost to less than $2,000.

The Aquaduct

The Aquaduct, a concept bicycle by the design firm IDEO, solves two problems: unclean water and the long distances many people have to travel to get their water. The power generated by pedaling the Aquaduct pushes water in a holding tank through a filter and into a receptacle for drinking.
Remember PlayPumps? When we first reported on PlayPumps-the water-pumping system that doubles as a merry-go-round and provides kids with fun along with clean water-some 700 units had been installed. That number is now over 1,000, and the organization hopes to reach a total of 4,000 by 2010. Donate today at playpumps.org.

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Clean, Clear Water