Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

All United Nations members have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, but due to partisan politics, bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.Not to mention the compounding effect of global warming through changing rainfall patterns and glaciers drying up, as in Bolivia.

Here at home, we have our own water problems with states unable to agree nor uphold agreements in place for the great Murray Darling Basin water system. Some of the ingenious solutions to bring clean water to the world at affordable prices are worth your support.

The Australian NFP Skyjuice Foundation’s SkyHydrant uses low maintenance, long life ultrafiltration technology to provide safe clean water for less than $1 per person per year.The South African “Hippo Water Roller Project” established in 1994 has delivered 50,000 Hippo Water Rollers across 20 countries. The Hippo Water Roller, developed in response to the unique needs of rural women and children across Africa forced to carry water, usually on their heads, to their homes, carries 90 litres of water inside a rolling wheel which is pushed or pulled with its handle. Another magical invention that makes pure water from the water vapour in the air is the WaterSeer of Vici Labs, worth a story in itself.

Have a family picnic at Grahamstown Dam or Chichester Dam, and read “When The Rivers Run Dry Water: The Defining Crisis of the Twenty First Century” by Fred Pearce, written in 2006.

Professor Tim Roberts, Director Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle.