It’s a time for us all to stop and recognize the fact that many people on this planet do not have access to clean water, or a sanitation option to clean the water they do have access to.
“World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.”
This year’s theme is focused on waste water. It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and find ways for the human race to stop wasting the water we have and, furthermore, find new and innovative ways to treat the water we do waste.
“Instead of wasting wastewater, we need to reduce and reuse it. In our homes, we can reuse greywater on our gardens and plots. In our cities, we can treat and reuse wastewater for green spaces. In industry and agriculture, we can treat and recycle discharge for things like cooling systems and irrigation.
By exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water cycle work better for every living thing. And we will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 target to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase water recycling and safe reuse.”
Often, with projects such as ours, you hear about the hot button topic of how sanitation systems are going to deal with solid waste. And that notion makes sense – feces tends to harm the human race on a much harsher scale.
But what about its liquid sibling? Sure, it’s been proven that human feces can be rendered into to many useful things, but what about urine? Surely there is a way to render it into something useful just like poop. Luckily, there is!
In our sanitation system we’ve incorporated a process that electro-chemically treats urine so that it can be used as additional flush water, safe liquid for watering crops, or even washing your hands. It doesnt stop there either. We are not alone either in our commitment to take care of this byproduct that we all produce. Researchers around the globe are finding ways to reuse urine. Chief amongst its potential uses, has been fertilizer for plants.
A post put up this past summer on ScienceFriday.com, offers up two great segments (one audio and one video which can be seen below), that follows the work of Krista Wigginton, an assistant professor of environmental engineering from the University of Michigan, and her colleagues as they work with The Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. Together, they’ve been working on developing a way to successfully reuse urine on a community-wide scale, as clean fertilizer for plants.
With catastrophic water shortages around the world, it’s vital that we fight to conserve as much of it as humanly possible. Between toilet projects like ours (and others like ours), as well as projects like the one talked about below, we can at least make sure that we aren’t needlessly wasting drinkable water on flushing down liquid waste.