Clean water is a resource often taken for granted in the United States. We have the ability to get a cool glass of water from our refrigerator water filter, but we tend to forget that many people in developing countries continue to live without access to clean water every day. Millions of people have no choice but to drink water contaminated with animal waste and harmful organisms, as well as chemicals that worsen their health and increase their risk of a number of illnesses and diseases.
Fortunately, many companies have devoted resources to finding simple, practical strategies for increasing global access to clean water for people living in the most remote, impoverished regions. Many of these solutions are sustainable in nature, providing clean water solutions that can continue to purify water over time as experts gradually work to reduce the number of global residents forced to drinking dangerous water.
One such product serving as an effective solution is known as LifeStraw, and it’s already serving its purpose around the world.
Solving the contaminated water problem
Unlike some other water filtration products, LifeStraw was developed specifically for people who lack access to clean water, and it’s in been in use in water-deprived areas of the world since 2005. It looks like a thick drinking straw and is designed for personal use, and its results are significant: a single straw can filter an entire year’s worth of water for an individual, or about 1,000 liters.
A similar family version of the straw is capable of purifying 18,000 liters before it needs to be replaced, which can last about three years in a typical family.
LifeStraw has only recently become available as a consumer product, but almost 1 million family-sized LifeStraws have been donated to needy communities around the world. Typically, the LifeStraw has been distributed as part of disaster aid and in other chronically impoverished areas.
But even as this product continues to be distributed around the world, the makers of LifeStraw are already working on an upgraded version that aims to fortify filtered water with zinc.
Providing continued support
Of course, LifeStraw on its own is far from solving the world’s clean water crisis. An effective solution is two-fold. The first phase requires that clean water be provided to individuals as quickly as possible – that’s where LifeStraw comes in handy. Serving the health needs of impoverished communities is of vital importance and key to building a positive future for those areas.
The second phase requires education and the resources necessary to create a sustainable water filtration system in those areas. Even if they don’t meet the level of sophistication seen in water treatment plants in the United States, the construction of an internal system producing clean water should be the long-term goal for all of these communities as they continue to develop.
LifeStraw is by no means the only product aimed at producing clean drinking water in developing regions. But it does rank among the most effective in terms of getting out there and producing results among developing nations. Millions of individuals in developing nations can thank LifeStraw for unprecedented access to clean drinking water, and enjoy lives free of disease caused by ingesting polluted water.