Top 5 Clean Drinking Water Technologies


Access to clean drinking water is a serious problem that affects billions of people. A lack of regular potable water is a significant cause of death and disease in large parts of the world, particularly in rural and developing areas in Africa and Asia. Purifying water can be easily done through simple technologies and creatively utilizing available natural resources. Some of these technologies can be implemented on a smaller level with simple materials; others require more resources and a larger, longer term approach. Many times, however, simply repairing an existing source or offering a means of purification is enough to improve the lives of hundreds or thousands of people. The goal, of course, is to ensure that access to clean drinking water is a right for everyone in the world.

Solar Stills-

These are effective and simple devices that utilize evaporation to produce clean water. Solar stills can be individual or large scale devices that harness the sun’s rays to evaporate water from a variety of sources and put out purified water for drinking and agriculture. Salty or otherwise unclean water is collected along on a black evaporation floor, a transparent cover is then placed on top, and the sun’s rays slowly evaporate the water and produce clean, potable water for consumption.

Well Repair and Maintenance-

Helping communities that depend on well water establish a new pump or fix a broken one is an effective way to ensure that people have a clean water supply. One non-profit called WaterAid trains people to set up well maintenance businesses to fix hand pumps and help ensure that the community drinking supply is potable.

Wind-Water Turbines-

This technology is capable of producing 500 to 800 liters of clean water per day from dry air. The turbine takes in ambient air and facilitates humid air condensation and water production through a cooling compressor, heat exchanger, and humidity condenser. Once water is produced, it is then filtered and transferred down the tower for collection. While technologically advanced, this water production method can reliably produce large quantities of clean drinking water in a sustainable way.

Merry-Go-Round in Elkton


This has been a popular way to pump water from an underground well into a designated 2,500 liter tank above ground using a piece of playground equipment. As children spin on the merry-go-round, clean water is pumped and deposited into the above ground tank for consumption. Any excess water is then diverted from the tank back into the well through a borehole. This is a great technology that combines games and human energy to extract clean water.

Water / Movement / Photography

Waste Water to Drinking Water-

This may sound repulsive, but proper water filtration can turn deadly, contaminated water into pure, potable water in three steps. The first step is a preliminary purification that filters the water to capture parasites larger than 1 micron in size. Hazardous chemicals like chlorine, lead, and mercury are then removed through a second filtration. Finally, UV light is employed to kill any additional microbes before purification is complete. Since contaminated water is often the only available water in many villages, this technology can be an effective way to provide clean, safe drinking water.

By Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn regularly examines issues related to water purification technology, ensuring proper air quality in homes, and doing a radon test Salt Lake City.