Saturday, April 28, 2012

Water: Conservation and disinfection

Potable water may soon become the most valuable commodity in the world.  At present, the clean water flowing from your faucet -- which is about 2 gallons per minute -- could be deemed liquid gold by many people in developing countries.  

Question is, are we willing to change our habits to start conserving water now before we reach the tipping point?

Nonetheless, the following are methods for disinfecting water as recommended by Dr. Diana Sarmiento.  They may seem extreme, but the information may come in handy in the event of natural disasters (of which the Philippines has more than its fair share).

Here are some easy ways to disinfect water for drinking:

1. Pass water through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and boil water for 3 minutes.

2. Fill a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle with 1 to 2 liters of water and expose to the sun for at least 6 hours on a sunny day or 48 hours on a cloudy day.

3. Add 30 ml. of lime juice (dayap) to 2 liters of water and let stand for 30 minutes.

4. Add 2 drops of bleach to 1 liter of water and let stand for 30 minutes.

5. Add 5 drops of 2 percent iodine (found in your medicine cabinet) to 1 gallon water.

The lack of potable drinking water has fueled the research at the Johns Hopkins University Global Water Program to come up with ways to bring safe drinking water to millions who have none. 

Read more here:

You may have heard the latest statistic that 1 in every 6 people in the world does not have clean water for drinking, cooking and washing. That means a billion people globally are suffering.  

Australia is in the midst of a 30-year drought, and human populations in areas of Africa and Asia are growing exponentially while their fresh water supplies are severely limited.  In the U.S., where most people take clean water for granted, 36 states are predicted to have a water shortage by 2013, and the southwest in particular is struggling to have enough clean water. 

Factors affecting fresh water supplies include population growth, massive water usage for agriculture (70% worldwide), growing use of water for industry (currently 22%), and decreases in precipitation due to global warming in areas prone to drought.    

Since 97% of the earth’s 9.25 million trillion gallons of water is salty, and 2% is locked up in snow and ice, we are left with only 1% to provide for all our needs. In the future, it will be essential that we efficiently use the water we have, and that we use innovations to clean and reuse water as well.

Read more here.

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  1. Interesting facts, the long term effects are pretty scary...something to definitely think about.

  2. wow thanks for sharing these info's!

  3. When home, I miss drinking water directly from the faucet...I think we started drinking bottled water when I was barely in highschool :( Water is one of the reasons I chose to stay were we are...

  4. Interesting facts indeed.

    I remember how I used to drink water directly from the faucets back home. And then suddenly my parents said we need to boil them before drinking. In my early 20s I left the country and was surprised that when I went back home, I need to drink bottled water.

  5. Love your shot and thank you for the valuable information.. Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot... :-)

  6. very interesting information. I wonder if this is applicable with the water here in Bohol which is a bit salty.

    1. Desalinating maybe more of the answer to Panglao's salty water. I will, however, let you know if I learned of an effective technique.

  7. I love to drink water especially today when it is excruciating warm :-) Returning from FTF