The importance of clean water in a disaster zone
September 9, 2010

When disasters like the recent flooding in Pakistan strike, one of the main concerns is how to deliver fresh water to large numbers of people, especially when the regular systems for water delivery are damaged or destroyed. People can survive for a long time on limited food rations, but we simply can't go for more than a couple of days without drinking water. And as we witnessed in Haiti, water is easily contaminated after a disaster, since debris, bodily waste, and human and animal remains all get washed into streams and rivers. And in Pakistan, bad information and superstition are spreading by word of mouth and putting the health (and lives) of many people at risk. Unfortunately, water purification is challenging to achieve without boiling, chlorination, or ultraviolet disinfection units. That's why so much interest has been shown in technologies like the LifeStraw, which is a portable disinfection filter for personal use. Until everyone has routine access to safe municipal drinking-water supplies, tools like the LifeStraw ought to be in pretty strong demand. For people in the US looking to enhance their own water security plans, we suggest taking a close look at UV disinfection systems and portable electric generators.

September 2010
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30

last revised September 2010