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This is a re-post of an article from 2009. I thought it was important enough to post on the blog here.
“As populations in developing nations increase alongside global pollution and the spread of water-borne illnesses, the need for clean and efficient water filtration has never been more urgent. Recently, the International Water Association (IWA) awarded UNICEF and the Water and Sanitation Program with the 2008 Project Innovation Award Grand Prizefor providing Cambodia with ceramic water filters. These water purification devices are made and distributed by Cambodian nationals, and have resulted in a 50 percent drop in diarrheal illnesses in the region since their implementation in 2002.
By LAUREN SHOCKEY , NYTimes Magazine
| November 10, 2010, 9:23 am |
You’ve got to have a hard sell and catchy slogan if you’re a bottled water company trying to introduce your product in New York City, which is reputed to have some of the best tap water in the world. After all, this is a place where people have tried to actually bottle the tap water. Sometimes, though, a straightforward approach is best. And so the entrepreneur Benjamin Gott named his company Boxed Water Is Better.
Read the full essay: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/now-drinking-boxed-water-is-better/
November 15, 2010, 8:45 pm
In America, I turn on the faucet and out pours water. In much of the world, no such luck. Nearly a billion people don’t have drinkable water. Lack of water ─ and the associated lack of toilets and proper hygiene ─ kills 3.3 million people a year, most of them children under five.
Lack of access to clean water is one of the world’s biggest health problems. And it is one of the hardest to solve. Lots of different groups dig wells and lay pipes ─ but the biggest challenge comes after the hardware is in.
Man-made ponds may be responsible for widespread arsenic contamination of ground water affecting millions of people in Bangladesh, a new study says.
According to the journal “Nature Geoscience”, the ponds have become a dumping ground for debris which releases arsenic into ground water.
Around 25m people in the country have been exposed to arsenic through water.
Arsenic contamination of ground water is a global problem and has occurred in other countries such as Argentina, Chile, China, India, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.
To read the entire article, go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8361660.stm.
By Oscar Munoz & Michelle Badash
Texas & Massachusetts
Most of us don’t give too much thought to the availability of clean water – turn on any faucet, and it’s there. We may realize that there are places in the developing world where clean water is not easily accessible – but many people would be surprised to learn that certain communities right here in the United States have no clean water at their disposal.
Faculty at the Texas A & M University (TAMU) have created a unique program that combines the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of potters, engineers, housing experts and medical staff to provide access to clean water to The Colonias, a group of 2000 communities spread across a 1,434 mile section along the Texas border next to the Rio Grande River. More than half a million people living in The Colonias have no running water or sewage system in their homes.
A photo slideshow/video about the TAMU Water Project created by Michelle Badash.
Michelle Badash has been developing award-winning print and Web-based health content for non-profits, academia and the private sector for more than 15 years. She currently works as the Managing Editor of an academic international nutrition journal, and is also a freelance consultant specializing in global health and photography projects. Michelle is a volunteer editor of this year’s Health Literacy Month storytelling project. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the complete story click on the link below.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency, reports of Americans falling ill from drinking tap water are rare, and mostly involve people who are already in frail health. But it is not known how many people suffer unreported stomach upsets from bacterial contamination, or even more serious problems, like long-term exposure to contaminants like lead, from drinking tap water.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the community water systems that supply drinking water to most Americans. Every water system is required to publish a yearly “consumer confidence report” detailing contaminants or violations of water quality standards. You can see the report for your water system by contacting the system directly. To find your water system, visitwww.epa.gov/enviro/html/sdwis/sdwis_query.html.
To read the entire article in The New York Times, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13waterside.html?ref=us
In fact, her entire family tries to avoid any contact with the water. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs and chest where the bathwater — polluted with lead, nickel and other heavy metals — caused painful rashes. Many of his brother’s teeth were capped to replace enamel that was eaten away.
Neighbors apply special lotions after showering because their skin burns. Tests show that their tap water contains arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system.
Read the entire article published in The New York Times:
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | August 12, 2009
A judge ordered a man to pick up trash for 300 hours after he was caught leaving jugs of water in the desert for illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico. The man, Walt Staton, is a member of the group No More Deaths. He was cited for leaving the jugs in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. A federal jury in June convicted him of littering. Mr. Staton was also sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation, and he is banned from the refuge for a year. He could have been sentenced to a year in prison and a $10,000 fine. Federal prosecutors had requested a $5,000 fine.
Below is an excerpt from an article on the work Jeff Schwarz and Dick Wukich are conducting at the Carnegie Library in Braddock. This facility is a partner to the facilities we are building in Laredo, TX and College Station, TX.
By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jeff Schwarz presses a filter in the Braddock Pot Shop.
As a distressed community, Braddock could make a good argument for getting a government bailout. Instead, it has become a producer of stimulus packages for communities with greater problems.
Last fall, the Braddock Pot Shop — a ceramics workshop operated by the Braddock Carnegie Arts Program in the basement of the Carnegie Library — took on an additional role: North America’s first water filter factory.
At Mayor John Fetterman’s urging, AmeriCorps agreed to make a former volunteer a full-time employee in the factory to produce ceramic cones that filter bacteria from water. It is an affiliate of the international network Potters for Peace.
AmericaCorps volunteers have worked in the ceramics studio since it was established in 2003 and been active for years in youth programs in Braddock. AmericaCorps alumni include Mr. Fetterman.
Jeff Schwarz, 33, a teacher in the studio, stepped into his full-time role impassioned about clay’s potential to improve and save lives — in the Third World or in developed countries during emergency situations in which drinking water supplies have been contaminated.
A graduate of Slippery Rock University, he caught the water filter bug from Richard Wukich, his mentor and teacher. Mr. Wukich is a member of Potters for Peace and has brought the group’s founder and other leaders to campus.
To read the rest of the story, go to http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09039/947753-82.stm
Manny Hernandez suggested we post this article from the Christian Science Monitor.
Not enough: Girls in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, waited on March 6 for free fresh water provided by a charity group. The city doesn’t have enough water to meet demand.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – With fresh water resources becoming scarcer worldwide due to population growth and climate change, a growing movement is working to make access to clean water a basic universal human right.
But it’s a contentious issue, experts say. Especially difficult is how to safely mesh public-sector interests with public ownership of resources – and determine the legal and economic ramifications of enshrining the right to water by law.
“It’s an issue that is snowballing,” says Tobias Schmitz, a water-resources expert with Both Ends, a Dutch environmental and development organization. Some 30 countries have a constitutional or legal provision ensuring individuals’ access to water, up from a handful a few years ago, he says.
“Everybody is grappling with the issue, knowing that we need to secure this right. But the question now is over the practical application of this right,” Dr. Schmitz says.
Government officials and leaders of numerous nongovernmental organizations and companies working on the water issue are meeting this week in Istanbul as part of the World Water Forum, which takes place every three years in a bid to shape global water policy.
To read the rest of the article, go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0319/p06s01-woeu.html