Monday, 18 February 2008

Pedalling clean water

A team in California have come up with an idea that may help the 20% of the world's population that don't have ready access to fresh water. The idea has been developed in response to a competition, innovate or die, whose sponsors include Google.

At the moment it is still very much a work in progress, though a protoype, the Aquaduct, has been built.

Before I realised it was a protoype, I had some reservations about the video. Some of these questions are known to the team, such as whether it will be easy to maintain locally, and how affordable it will be because of course it's the poorest who have the most need of such a system.

I do have two further issues: I hope they aren't under the illusion that the tricycle will be used over a lovely smooth and well maintained road like the one in the video; and I really wish they hadn't perpetuated the stereotype that it is woman's work to fetch water to the extent that they do. It is true that it is mainly women who do fetch water in Africa, but we don't have to assume that it always will be so.

Source IRIN


  1. Good observations and thinking of you! I totally agree, even though it's nice that some thinking around the problems actually have been done. It's sad though that this hasn't been highlighted much more earlier. Should have been. We have come so far with a lot of other things that doesn't affect peoples life as much as the water issue does.

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  3. I think they could easily overcome the issue of bad roads, but I wonder if the weight of 20 gallons of water would prohibit one trip.

  4. Thanks for all your comments. You know hathor, I hadn't thought of the weight issue. I hope that they did, because it would completely defeat the project if not.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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