2015-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations

Editors:Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2015
Pages:275 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
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    Low-Tech, Low Cost Water Solutions: How to Reach the Last 10% who do not Have Access to Clean Water?

    Brandon Nichols1; Kaira Wagoner2; Robert Pillers3; Andre Xavier4;
    1UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, Vancouver, Canada; 2POTTERS FOR PEACE, Greensboro, United States; 3POTTERS FOR PEACE, Managua, Nicaragua; 4UBC-MINING, Vancouver, Canada;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 410
    Topic: 4


    Approximately 10% of the global population, 780 million people, lack access to clean water. This situation results in over 3.4 million deaths annually from water-related illness. Over 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries, the majority stemming from diarrhea, the second largest cause of death in children under five. Providing clean drinking water to those who lack it in rural and underdeveloped parts of the world is a social and technological challenge. Meeting these challenges requires a solution that is easy to implement, affordable, constructed from local materials, and which creates positive economic outcomes as a result of local economic diversification and the empowerment local citizens. Ceramic Pot Water Filters (CPWF) consist of bucket-shaped containers constructed from clay and sawdust. This design creates a porous filter capable of filtering particulate, bacteria and some viruses from water. To improve the efficacy of the filters, each CPWF is coated with colloidal silver, adding an antimicrobial factor to the pot so it can remove 99.8% of bacteria, thus resulting in a 50% decrease in incidences of diarrhea. CPWF are currently manufactured in 50 factories in over 30 developing countries around the world. Invented in 1981 by Dr. Fernando Mazariegos, CPWF production techniques and technology have been promoted since 1998 by the international NGO, Potters for Peace. Their entrepreneurial model departs from standard aid models and focuses, instead, on the empowerment of local people through education, technology and the formation of business partnerships through which develop private and co-operative filter plants that supply the local community with CPWF to be used at home. Our paper describes how CPWF works, presents examples of successful CPWF operations that have effectively decreased water-borne diseases in developing areas, and outlines the social, technological and economic hurdles CPWF currently faces. In addition, the paper explores alternatives for the collaboration between NGOs, mining companies, academia and governments so that they can join together to address the challenges of meeting global water needs while promoting local economic development.


    Mining; Silver; Sustainability; Technology;

    Cite this article as:

    Nichols B, Wagoner K, Pillers R, Xavier A. Low-Tech, Low Cost Water Solutions: How to Reach the Last 10% who do not Have Access to Clean Water?. In: Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations. Volume 4. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2015. p. 143-144.