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Five inventions that purify drinking water

Five inventions that purify drinking water

We live in an age defined by life-enhancing technologies. According to the World Health Organization, 2.1 billion people lack access to a safely-managed drinking water supply at home. Contaminated or dirty water causes 3.4 million deaths each year, as 3 in 10 people risk catching water-borne diarrheal diseases including Cholera and other serious illnesses such as Guinea Worm, Typhoid, and Dysentery each time they take a drink.

A lack of access takes a toll on the young. A new-born child dies every minute from water-related disease. Every two minutes, poor sanitation kills a child under five. The following map highlights the most at-risk, showing the percentage of populations that lack access to adequately clean drinking water.

Access to microbe-free water is the cornerstone of sustainable communities

Portable drinking water, supported by basic sanitation, allows communities to grow and thrive. Experts estimate universal access to clean water and sanitation would produce economic benefits equal to $18.5 billion through:

  • Enabling hospitals to reduce child mortality rates;
  • Improving a population’s ability to fight disease;
  • Promoting gender equality in lower income countries, where women bear the responsibility of collecting water reducing their productivity

Organisations across the world have committed to developing innovative, forward-thinking solutions that help isolated populations, access water; such as these five ethically-minded, sustainable technologies.

CSIRO Research

This solution is yet to be industrialised. CSIRO researchers have uncovered a filtration technique that is so effective, it makes Sydney harbour water safe to drink.

Using Graphair, a type of Graphene, the newly-developed filter has microscopic nano-channels that let water through but stop other bacteria and contaminants from passing. Led by scientist Dr Dong Han Seo, the group believes their unique filtration paper can make any water source drinkable in a single step, irrespective of how dirty it is.

The team are currently searching for industrial partners in the hope of rolling out the solution in the developing world in 2019.

Life Sack

Inspiration for Life Sack came about as NGO’s were delivering food to remote populations and the bags the NGO’s used going to waste. Families can now fill the emptied sack with contaminated water, which the sustainable plastic purifies through a Solar Water Disinfection Process using UV-A light and heat to kill bacteria and remove undesirable microbes.

NGO’s ship in bags full of food and rural communities receive a life-long supply of purified, safe-to-drink water.

The Drinkable Book

Hygiene and sanitation best-practice stems from education. Researchers at Carnegie Melon University created an affordable teaching resource that doubles as a filtration device.

The Drinkable Book contains basic guidance for maintaining clean water sources, with the information printed on filtration paper and provides filter sheets to last four years. The current focus is on developing nations, including Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, Ethiopia, India, and Tanzania.


Filtration is useful where water is abundant and water scarcity is quickly becoming a global crisis. What happens where communities face a severe water shortage? This is where the WaterSeer technology comes into play.

The device is planted six-feet underground, using above-ground wind turbines to force air down into a cooler chamber. As the hot air enters cold surrounds, vapor condenses and filters to the bottom of a tube, which users extract the water with a pump and hose.

Developed by VICI Labs in the USA, the device was recognised as 2017’s Emerging Tech Innovation of the Year. It can collect up to 37 litres of water a day and is currently in use in Karachi, Pakistan – a notoriously dry region of the world.

The Hippo Roller

Millions of women and children walk 6 hours every day, just to collect water, carrying heavy buckets on their head. Though not a purification device, the 90-litre Hippo Roller offers them a less strenuous vessel to transport clean water, collecting up to five times more liquid than a bucket. Developed by two South Africans in response to localized struggles, it’s a unique solution whose impact on women and children has been praised by the UN World Food Program. It is now used in more than 20 countries worldwide, with 50,000 rollers helping close to half-a-million people.

As a social enterprise, the company encourages corporate sponsorship to facilitate global distribution with associated branding opportunities. Alternatively, Hippo Rollers cost $125.


Stay hydrated for optimal performance


80% of Australians do not drink enough water, taking both a mental and physical toll. Access to refreshing water encourages us to drink more. A Waterlogic energy-saving water dispenser is a vital addition to Australian workplaces. Our solutions offer an on-demand source of purified water keeping your office in excellent health while reducing your environmental impact and setting your employees up for focused, productive days.

Contact a Waterlogic expert for more information today!