For example during the tsunami in Asia, thousands and thousands of plastic bottles of water are distributed amongst the people, and we often see images such as this:
|Picture from bottledwatermatters.org|
Imagine how much energy, oil and negative externalities there are in using this method of delivering clean water in disaster relief. Not only does it require tremendous transportation efforts, and planning, it also has a defined quantity dependent on delivery mechanisms.
|120.000 half liter bottles take up quite a bit of space...|
We are living in an age where technical innovations are changing the way we live yet we have not come up with a more elegant way of managing water in disaster situations.
Swiss Cleanwater Group propose a mobile solution that can be installed in under 60 seconds. It requires electricity (can be run on solar power / 150W only), and incoming water. The machine ensures that for example all of the below issues are treated:
Turbidity, Hardness, TDS, Pathogens, Odour, Taste, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Chlorides, Sulphates, Nitrates, Fluorides, Mercury, Arsenic, Cyanide, Lead, Zinc, Pesticides, Viruses, Bacteria, Selenium, Herbicides, Radioactivity, Cadmium and many more.
Case: Mobile Water Treatment of river waterPreviously, we have established a few case scenarios for clean drinking water during disaster relief, where we have placed a unit within a car, and looks as follows:
The trailer model which is convenient in military applicationsThen we evolved the idea into putting the machine onto a trailer where you could have more than one unit, and transport it with a car to a needy region in an urgency.
RFID and Water?We then thought more about how can we make the distribution process even more easy and less need for control using technology? The answer lies in RFID (Radio-frequency identification). The quick description of RFID is "is the use of a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object, for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking."
|The Oyster Card used for travelling in London|
After having used an "Oyster Card" for travelling around London, which is an electronic ticket which can contain a period ticket, a day ticket, a monetary amount, we thought that these easily distributable, small, lightweight and easy to use card could be the golden ticket to an easy way of distributing water evenly amongst people in disaster ares.
Our Solution to Distributing Clean Drinking Water in Disaster AreasThe Swiss Cleanwater Kiosk can be positioned in strategic locations next to water sources where people may collect their clean drinking water.
The kiosk consists of Swiss Cleanwater technology that is used to distribute water when users place their water collection canisters within the dispensor rooms behind the metal doors that lift on successful use of the RFID card. The person has received a Swiss Cleanwater card which contains X amounts of water credits that can be used for collecting water at a kiosk as long as the kiosk is stationed during the disaster relief. When the card no longer contains any more credits the people can return and request a top up of their water credits which can be controlled from a central water management agency. This ensures even distribution of resources.
So now, we do not need to fly in numerous cargo planes full of bottled water, but instead strategically place a water kiosk and distribute water credit cards.
|Disribution of RFID cards would evenly distribute water resources, in a flexible, easy to transport and manageable way.|
The next discussion we will have is on ensuring that these people are using containers which are also free from bacteria and pollutants so that the cleanly dispensed drinking water is not contaminated.
This is however a good start towards a more efficient way of distributing clean drinking water during disaster management.