In a country where clean, albeit sometimes flammable, water is freely available everywhere from tap faucets to vending machines, it’s unconscionable to fathom that 3.4 million people die annually from water-related disease. It’s even more inconceivable to digest this with the knowledge that most people at risk aren’t even aware their water’s contaminated.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia have paired up with WATERisLIFE to provide Drinkable Books. Drinkable Books “provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to thousands who are in desperate need” for it.
The foundation operates with core values of empathy, transparency, collaboration and innovation. They provide opportunities for involvement via fundraising and field project implementation, and collaborate closely and consistently with non-government organizations, local governments and various partners. Their integrated approach ensures households, schools, orphanages and medical facilities have access to safe water, proper sanitation and hygiene programs for their people.
“The results of our work change everything,” WATERisLIFE declares on their website’s about page. “Hours are restored each day – women can use their time to learn a trade, start a business and receive an income. Children can receive an education. Clean water will reduce sickness by almost a third. Clean water saves and transforms lives, and communities.”
What makes the Drinkable Book so amazing? Well, damn near everything about it is phenomenal. Drinkable Books cost mere pennies to produce. Each book teaches the owner about best water hygiene practices, such as keeping trash and feces distinctly separate from water supply. (Control your susceptibility to the giggle factor here; this is not common knowledge to many people in other places.)
And the effectiveness of the Drinkable Book is amazing. Breaking down the science, it functions as a coffee filter, purifying water through application of silver nanoparticles in the fiber of the pages. The silver nanotechnology destroys more than 99 percent of deadly bacteria found in the water. It provides immediately fresh and drinkable water that’s comparable to U.S. tap water.
In terms of sustainability, each filter provides up to 30 days worth of clean drinking water, and every book can offer “potable” water for up to four years – for $100 per book. That equates to a mere 14 cents per day. Not much considering the average American sips 167 bottles of water per year to the tune of $242.50. www.waterislife.com