[permaculture] Pure Water Revolution- NOT

loren luyendyk loren at sborganics.com
Tue May 8 18:52:51 EDT 2012


Great idea to use the hay as a way to grow ciliates, John.  That would indeed be a good pre-filter for a BioSand or Slow Sand Filter.  

Re the solar still- yes you would need to have several stills to produce the required amount of water for a family of four, or scale it up to a 5 gallon bucket instead of a cup.  You can even pee in the hole to create the moisture for distillation.  My point was to use fresh sunlight instead of stored sunlight (= propane or wood) to process the water, and to use what is available in country instead of manufactured materials.

On that note, possible the simplest way to sterilize water is called SODIS, solar water disinfection.  This uses discarded plastic bottles and UV (= fresh sunlight) to sterilize water and is the cheapest option out there.  All people need to make this happen is the information, no gadgets.

You make another good point regarding the scale- community scale is much more appropriate than household.  The Danvor type BioSand filters are good for several households, and are inexpensive, produced in country, and last many years with little maintenance.

I must say I am a little jaded with water projects, having participated in several seminars on the subject.  A lot of projects create dependency on foreign support, and make the aid "industry" money.

> From: dhondt at eircom.net
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 20:41:50 +0100
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Pure Water Revolution- NOT
> 
> 
> Just a few thoughts.
> First of all it might be a good idea to make a water filtering devise where 
> a community gets its dirty water instead of letting every household do it's 
> own thing. It is not easy to make an effective water filtering devise on a 
> very small scale except that one can of course sell more units.
> If pathogens are the problem with dirty water it might be a good idea to use 
> a hay or straw bed/layer first because there an ecosystem of cilliates can 
> develop that eats bacteria. Below that layer of sand followed by a layer of 
> charcoal would be a good follow up to that.
> Distilling water is a hugely costly business in terms of energy and 
> inpractical I think unless direct solar heating could be used. Even then, it 
> will be hard going to produce enough water for a family to drink. The system 
> you describe with extracting water from vegetation by means of a plastic 
> sheet and a cup can indeed produce a cup of water after a few hours but even 
> a small family of four will need at least ten liters per day and that system 
> can not provide that.
> john
> 
> >
> > With all due respect, this is a well meaning project but it relies on the 
> > same thinking and approach as most NGO's use, and is actually a  band-aid 
> > as he claims other methods are.  Is it really empowering people to provide 
> > themselves clean water, or is it merely promoting the current paradigm 
> > that the 3rd world be reliant on the first world to help them?
> > How much does the unit cost?  Certainly more than the intended recipients 
> > can afford, therefor the project will rely on donors to support it.  Where 
> > is it built?  It is manufactured from refined materials that are hard to 
> > come by in non-industrialized areas.  It is likely that this unit would be 
> > dismantled and used for something else in extremely poor areas.
> > Also- it relies on boiling the water in order to distill it.  This means 
> > that people will need either gas stoves or firewood to get clean water, 
> > further exacerbating the issue of affordability and the problem of 
> > deforestation.  What about solar distillation which can be achieved with a 
> > sheet of plastic, a cup, and vegetation?  Would it be more empowering to 
> > teach people the PRINCIPLES of water filtration as opposed to selling a 
> > pre-fabbed unit?
> >
> > Same model, not a real solution.  It actually makes me angry as this is an 
> > ignorant approach to aid, though I realize the project means well and is 
> > intended to address possibly the most pressing issue facing the world, 
> > clean water.  It may be suitable for certain situations though it would 
> > not be in many.
> > There are many complicated issues to creating truly lasting and 
> > sustainable solutions to the water crisis, this site attempts to address 
> > hard 
> > questions:http://waterservicesthatlast.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/the-naked-truth/
> >
> > Our organization has attempted small scale water filtration projects so I 
> > have a little experience with 
> > this:http://www.surferswithoutborders.org/Slow_Sand_Filter.html
> >
> > I do not have the answers but I have been asking questions-
> >> Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 18:48:02 -0400
> >> From: venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
> >> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> >> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Pure Water Revolution
> >>
> >> On 5/7/2012 5:53 PM, Marjory wrote:
> >> > There is a some really nice work being done to develop, small, rugged,
> >> > drinking water stills to alleviate the crisis from lack of clean water.
> >> >
> >> > Check out:
> >> >
> >> > http://www.purewaterrevolution.org/
> >> >
> >> > Cheers,
> >> >
> >> > Marjory Wildcraft
> >> Excellent. We need mopre of this. I understand the Berkey filters are
> >> very good.
> >>
> >> LL
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