Things To Do On World Water Day

Happy World Water Day! You’ll be unsurprised to hear that it’s an event that we feel very strongly about, so we thought we’d let you know about a few ways that you can get involved – it’s easier than you’d think!

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Learn About Water

How much do you know about the water that you come into contact with every day? We guarantee is not as much as you think you do. Why not take some time to do a little reading today? There’s a ton of useful information over on the UN Water website, and it’s well worth taking a look.

Support Sustainability

The theme of World Water Day 2015 is “Water and Sustainable Development” – in other words, the role played by water in all forms of sustainable development; food, industry, you name it! There are plenty of ways to get involved; why not sign this pledge to urge the UK government to support a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation?

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Sign Up For An Event

There are tons of water-focused events going on around the world throughout the year; why not learn about them here, and sign up for a few?

Watch Water Aid’s sH2Ort Films

Hundreds of directors from around the world have submitted short films about water to Water Aid’s “sH2Ort Films” competition (see what they did there?), and they’ve now released the winner and the runners up. Congratulations to Sven Harding from South Africa who’s film “Moonwalk” was chosen as the winner: you can watch it, as long as the twenty other films that made the shortlist, here.

Help to Fund Desolenator

We’ve made it our goal to help as many as a billion people have access to fresh water with our state-of-the-art, solar-powered water purification technology. You can help us to reach our target by donating to our Indie GoGo campaign.

Rethinking the Worth of Water – by William Janssen, CEO of Desolenator

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‘Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink’. The words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in his poem over 200 years ago could not ring truer today.

In most developed countries, a steady supply of clean water is piped into our homes. At the end of the month a bill arrives, and given that we pay for water per cubic metre or cubic gallon, the amount of water we actually consume is virtually free. Around the world, people expect water to be provided to them via a well or pipe and at a very low cost. After air (still free in most places), water is the most essential element of our daily lives and is perceived as a basic right.

The global population is growing exponentially, from 7 billion today rising to over 9 billion by 2050; water consumption is doubling every 20 years, twice the rate of population growth; and by 2025, demand will exceed supply by 56 percent. This is intensified by climate change – 2014 was the hottest on record with severe droughts and rainfall deficits recorded on every continent.

In less than 20 years, the UN estimates that half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas and the crisis is already unfolding. Water scarcity and shortages limit economic development, threaten political stability and exacerbate rural poverty in emerging and developing countries. Currently, over a billion people do not have access to clean, safe water, resulting in the death of nearly 4,000 children per day. In Amman, Jordan, there is running water only one in ten days and in rural areas of Saudi Arabia, water scarcity and salinity destroy agriculture. In Pakistan, waterborne diseases cause 40 percent of illnesses, preventing children from going to school, parents to miss work and resulting in burdensome healthcare bills. For other communities, their only access to water is via the weekly visit of the water truck or taking hours from their working day to visit wells. As attention focuses on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, increasing accessibility to clean water will improve health and hygiene to assist in curbing the spread of infectious diseases and reducing child mortality.

It is time to revalue the cost we attach to water and devise new approaches. What is the use of charities digging wells, only for them to run dry in a few years due to the depletion of groundwater? Water needs to be extracted from the earth in the most sustainable way.

Our planet is drenched in over 300 million trillion gallons of water, yet around 97 percent is oceanic salt water and 1.5 percent remains locked up in icecaps and glaciers. Less than 1 percent is usable by humans for drinking, sanitation, cooking and growing crops.

Water is a finite resource and desalination, the process of transforming seawater into drinking water, seems to be the most viable. Today, only 0.7% of the world’s water comes from desalination and existing technology is expensive and inefficient. The most common process is reverse osmosis whereby water forced through a membrane separates out the salts and other impurities. Some countries have adopted large-scale desalination plants though these require significant investment alongside vast amounts of energy powered by fossil fuels. In developing countries, large-scale water treatment facilities usually leave residents with a dismal lack of services. Failure stems from breakdown of communication and coordination in planning and implementation, high maintenance costs and lack of ownership leading to the degradation of existing plants.

Decentralized systems allow for more locally-focused answers and those powered by renewable energy sources are fast-growing due to environmental and socio-economic factors. Decentralized, desalinated water avoids investment in infrastructure, reduces unaccounted for water and minimises carbon emissions.

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We at Desolenator are working on bringing a new solution to the market that addresses these issues, powered by solar energy. Our affordable, stand-alone, family-sized device converts seawater into 15 litres of drinking water per day. Requiring minimal consumables and maintenance, Desolenator will desalinate water at a lower cost per litre than any system at this scale available today over its 20-year lifetime.

This year, we’re planning an extensive field trial in an arid coastal hamlet in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. One hundred families will receive a Desolenator unit for their house and will report on how they enjoy the water delivered daily by the device and what problems they encounter.

To make this possible, please support our fundraising campaign and assist in giving water independence to a billion people.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/desolenator-transforming-sunshine-into-water

William Janssen, CEO of Desolenator

 

Main image: Glyn Lowe at Flickr Creative Commons

Indiegogo: five other campaigns we love

As you know, Desolenator is being crowdfunded through indiegogo. Indiegogo is full of brilliant, pioneering projects (and some less so!), with new ones being added all the time – so we’ve done a round-up of five of our favourites on the site at the moment. If you can support any of these great projects, please click the link!

1. Loka Foundation

The Loka Foundation is seeking sponsors so that children in a school-deprived area near Varanasi, India can get a good education. They’re asking for $400 per year to see a child through, and this includes all school materials. A modest, worthwhile cause trying to make the world a better place through education.

2. ChargeTech smallest phone charger

This tiny phone charger plugs into the mains and charges twice as fast as a standard iPhone charger. It’s not just for Apple fans, though – with two USB ports, you can use it for any of your USB-compatible devices. This could be very useful to take away travelling!

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3. Sahodaran –  LGBT rights in India

Sahodaran is a safe space in Pondicherry, India for gay, transgender and other people of marginalised sexualities to take refuge. It wants to extend its services by offering shelter to those displaced because of their sexuality, and reach out to organisations to try to dispel harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Legislation and social climate in India do not tend to favour LGBT people, so this is vitally important work.

4. Solar phone chargers in Liberia

The Green Neighbors Education Committee, Inc. is seeking funding for materials to kickstart a solar-energy business – Sustainable Solar Energy of Liberia. Having recently trained 27 Liberians in designing, assembling, installing, maintaining and repairing solar devices, Sustainable Solar Energy will empower them to turn their skills into a full-time job.

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5. Rainwater project, Kenya

A group of friends went to Marafa, Kenya, on a volunteering trip – but upon leaving the country, they were unable to get the local people they’d met off their minds. So the friends have decided to try and provide clean water to two schools using a technique known as rain harvesting. This is an instance where we think Desolenator could really help, too.

Featured perk: coconut lamps!

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We just wanted to let you know about our latest featured perk – for $65, you can get your hands on a stunning USB-powered lamp made from a coconut!

Many underprivileged women make their living this way, so while making a valuable contribution to water independence you can also feel safe in the knowledge that your money provides an income to someone in Kerala. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our 47-second video of the working women in action.

As always, thanks for your ongoing support!

We’ve reached $100,000!

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We’re absolutely delighted to be over the $100,000 mark – that means that we’ve raised two-thirds of our fundraising target!

With just 10 days left, it’s more important than ever that Desolenator hits its goal. Please help us out if you can! Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed and shared our story.

Best of the blog: round-up so far

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Here at Desolenator HQ, we’ve been working hard since the autumn to bring you water news, information about the world water crisis, fun facts and of course – updates about our campaign!

You may have learned, for instance, that Desolenator uses desalination to filter its water – but while Desolenator is undoubtedly innovative, this is not new technology. In fact, there are already several parts of the world using desalination to provide water for their populations.

You might have been interested to learn that the most saline body of water in the world is actually in Antarctica. On a similar note, Antarctica also happens to be one of the driest places in the world – it’s technically a desert, despite all that ice. We also took a look at the largest freshwater sources on Earth.

We’ve explored water conflicts, including the India-Pakistan water dispute, and how ancient step wells could be a solution. We made a video to demonstrate how Desolenator could ease some of the difficulties faced by water-stressed communities, and Desolenator’s CEO wrote about the long process it’s taken for his invention to reach this point.

Last but not least, we’ve put together a Christmas thank you video. We do hope you’ll view it and have a laugh with us. We’re really enjoying the journey, and can’t wait for the next step!

Main image: Brian Gratwicke at Flickr Creative Commons

VIDEO: Merry Christmas and a huge THANK YOU from Desolenator

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With Christmas mere hours away, we’d like to send out a HUGE thank you to every single person who has contributed to our campaign and shared the Desolenator story so far.

It wasn’t long ago that our hopes were just that – hopes – and success seemed unattainable, but the generosity and support of our contributors and well-wishers has changed everything. Desolenator is now well on its way to becoming a reality.

So we hope you’ll watch this short video of thanks from the Desolenator team, and we wish you the merriest of Christmases, a Happy New Year and all good wishes. Words cannot express our thanks for your kindness!

Desolenator: THANK YOU & A MERRY CHRISTMAS 🙂 from Desolenator on Vimeo.

Six situations in which you’ve already seen Desolenator – without realising

So, we’ve already established that Desolenator has many uses:

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And yes, it’s all very impressive. But if you’ve been following our indiegogo campaign, you’ll know that Desolenator is a WHOLE lot more versatile than that.

That’s right: Desolenator resides in all kinds of watery (and some not so) habitats. You’ve probably had one in your very own swimming/paddling pool at some point, soaking up the rays.

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Desolenator really gets around a bit. They say that Neil Armstrong was the first to reach the moon – but that giant leap for mankind doesn’t even constitute a step for Desolenator. It’s been chilling on the moon for a long time now, no sweat.

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Remember when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a thing? Well, Desolenator was there. You just didn’t notice it in all your excitement.

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Then there was this. oscars-selfie-desolenator-photobomb

And this. Yep, Desolenator broke the internet.

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And finally, this. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

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