A glass full of water: Point-of-use solutions [Video]

NAE Engineering Grand Challenges Video & Essay Contest
Topic: Providing access to clean water

Providing access to clean water is one of the Grand Challenges that face humanity. In order to bring access to clean water to those still without it, solutions must be simple, low-cost, durable, and culturally acceptable. Point-of-use solutions fulfill those requirements while providing effective water treatment. Our video describes four proven successes:

- chemical treatments
- biosand filters
- ceramic pot filters
- SODIS (solar disinfection)

Household point-of-use water treatment technologies hold great potential for meeting the Millennium Development Goal and NAE Grand Challenge of providing universal access to clean water. Although the technologies discussed here are not perfect, as a portfolio of alternative options they have been used to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In this often-overlooked arena there are enormous opportunities for engineers to innovate new solutions that are more socially acceptable, economically affordable, and environmentally sustainable. The design criteria are very different than those for the first world, but the challenge is no less difficult. Are engineers willing to take on this truly grand challenge?

Submitted by: Stephanie Chang, Will Patrick, Eric Thorne, Cheney Tsai, Patrick Ye, members of Engineers Without Borders - Duke University chapter