FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, May 19, 2006

"LifeStraw" Brings Drinkable Water to the Developing World

From the innovations-so-obvious-it's-amazing-no-one-thought-of-them-before department comes the LifeStraw, a plastic tube with an iodine/carbon filter designed to allow people to drink water safely.

Created by a Danish inventor, the LifeStraw can be used in developing countries and disaster zones where potable water is rare. To use, the drinker simply sucks through it; the water passes through the filter, which kills bacteria, and blocks parasites and other contaminants. The list price is around $3.50 (though considering that many in the developing world subsist on less than a dollar a day, the cost would have to be subsidized somehow). Each filter could last from six months to a year.

Many futurists fear that the worldwide lack of fresh water will be one of the great global crises in the coming years. Already, an estimated 6,000 people die of water-borne diseases each day, and many throughout the world travel miles on foot in the search for fresh water.

Source: BBC

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