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Pure water

Purifying the water in Nepal. Finding water in Nepal is not an issue, however finding clean drinking water is. Due to waste polluting the water , 44,000 children under the age of 5 die due to water-borne diseases in Nepal every year. We will be creating a system that purifies the water in Kathmandu, Nepal. Our aim is create an easy to build system using local resources within the community. The system can be easily taught and shared with other smaller communities so they too can have PURE WATER.

Photo of Naomi Spence
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Sanitation in Nepal
We will be creating a system that purifies the water in  Kathmandu, Nepal. 
Due to waste, 44,000 children under the age of 5 die due to water-borne 
diseases in Nepal every year. 

The service/system we will create is to benefit the local people enabling them
to safely drink water, which is a vital part of any child's development.

We will be implementing a community water filter, in which we will be using the solar purification method, in combination with a hand-made filter.

Key Features :
-To filter contaminated water 
-To educate how to purify water 
-Promotes sharing amongst the communities 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

We will be designing our system for the small communities in the urban areas of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, which is home to a population of about 1 million people. Nepal’s largest urban area is located in the Kathmandu valley.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

We will prototype many water filtration ideas in combination with the solar purification method , to test how pure we can make the water. We will also arrange a series of test among out team to see how quickly and efficiently we can create these structures. This is so we can see which model would best suit the communities in Nepal Kathmandu, in terms of how easy it is to assemble and the access to recourses . We shall also be testing how easy it is to demonstrate how the system is built and used to other users. Our aim is to do this by monitoring which method among out team is easily understood and replicated.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

We would need help from the SOIDS organistaion (short for Solar Water Disinfection) to help implement our idea. We would also need the help of the Nepal government to make sure that this service is seen as a essential part of the communities well being.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

53 comments

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Comment
Photo of Dean James
Team

this is great as it implements things that can be used for many years, its also vital that clean water is provided as it will be able to save many lives as the figures stated showed

Photo of Ozgecan Aydin
Team

This is a very good idea, as water is such and important part of nutrition. I also this that the idea is very well, the only doubt or question that I have is that building these systems is a great idea however, how will the maintenance be and will these systems be abused due to crime rates etc. other than that this is a great idea!

Photo of Sam Graham
Team

Very specific which I love! When i say it in class though the water didnt seem extremely clean. I know it was only a prototype but maybe if you check the PH levels of it you can see how safe it is to act drink! well done!

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Yeah I agree Sam, getting the water to be extremely clean would be the thing we would want to do the most. However, we can only get the water to a point where it can be safe to drink.

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you for your comment Sam. The prototype in class was more of a visual break down of how filtering works. It is not a practical method of cleaning water. Yes, we have recently looked into PH levels of safe drinking water due to recent comments. Thanks for your contribution.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thanks for your comment Sam, In the development process we began looking into PH strips to help get the community in the habit of testing the water they drink.
We do aim to develop this area more as we think it would be more than benifical.

Photo of Petrit Kasabaqi
Team

Impressive work Naomi and team! I can see this going a long way and I like the fact that your grappling with how to filter water, I think this is the most effective way to approach the problem, at its root. We all know water is life's most basic need and that without it 0-5year olds will never really be able to thrive in low in come communities. By solving this issue you would in turn be solving countless others. For example if people are drinking clean water this means less diseases in the water which means less people become ill and the government needs to spend less on medicine but can spend more on education and building schools. This is just one example. Anyway I'm really enthusiastic about your idea and did a bit of research , Have you heard about the lifestraw? this product is amazing, maybe you could draw some inspiration from it. It is basically a filtering straw which makes unclean water drinkable. One particular feature I liked is the fact that the life straw is portable and can be carried around anywhere, maybe this is something you could incorporate into your idea? a portable filtering kit possibly? Also consider time and how long it takes for the water to evaporate and then filter? What if water is needed urgently? and is it always sunny in Nepal to allow evaporation? maybe include some statistics of weather and the local climate to justify your amazing idea. Great work so far, I look forward to seeing your idea develop and hopefully changing peoples lives. Have a look at the links below.

Lifestraw - http://www.buylifestraw.com/products/lifestraw-personal

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/02/24/this-simple-affordable-technology-is-going-to-make-history-meet-the-lifestraw/

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you very much for your great contribution Petrit. Yes we have previously researched Lifestraw and were very impressed with its size, portability and design. The graphics board is one of three filtering methods we researched in depth, and the only one that required evaporation. We would love to collaborate with existing water companies and build on our ideas collectively.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thank you for the useful links ,the lifestraw was one of inspirations in the development process, great design !

Photo of Guy Viner
Team

Great inspiration, Naomi! As you develop your thinking further, you might want to explore business models which could enhance the economic viability of your idea. Check out the Social Business Model Canvas: http://www.socialbusinessmodelcanvas.com for a fun way of shaping your thinking (you can upload your canvas via the Make It Visual gallery on your idea) and read more about social business models here: http://www.marsdd.com/mars-library/social-enterprise-business-models/

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thank you Guy me and the team will look further into development of the business models thanks to your useful link.

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

I also thought this article might inspire your idea. Although its a different context, there may be valuable insights to be gained from this water purification device. It was recently crowd funded on kickstarter and is said to be a strong rival for Brita & Pur:

http://www.psfk.com/2014/12/how-a-start-up-used-design-and-partnerships-to-disrupt-the-water-filter-industry.html

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thanks Jonathan ! Me and the team will look further into this

Photo of Emmanuel Adeusi
Team

Hello Naomi + team,

Cool concept, drinking pure water is especially important for children as water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.

Here is a link that could inspire your thinking,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXepkIWPhFQ

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thanks for the link Emmanuel it was a very inspirational video. We will look further into this.

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Thank you Emmanuel for the comment and the video.
It is an essential for young children, as they have to build up their immune system. If this service/system is put into place then this will benefit the children, but on a bigger scale the whole community.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

thank you Emmanuel the video was very insightful

Photo of Ayman Hanafi
Team

What a great idea Naomi. This would be amazing if you could develop something like this. Clean and healthy water is such an essential for good health thus leading to a good learning appetite.Achieving a clean water supply would make such a difference to their lives. Well done!

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thank you for your comment Ayman. Clean water is definialty a must in the developing worlds

Photo of Chris Payne
Team

Great Idea Guys! It is such a vital part of peoples day to day lives having clean water in these less fortunate countries that don't have the infrastructure to provide it like we do here in England. I think the visuals you have provided are great and really get your proposal across, they help to understand what you would try to implement and how its used. Does what your proposing eradicate/kill the majority of the bacteria in the water or a specific amount. Otherwise this is a fabulous idea as i said its so crucial to allow them to consume clean water to maintain a good immune system at an early age.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Hi chris thank you for your comment. The system we are trying to implement will not eracidate all harmful bacteria but it will get rid most to create drinkable water. The water will be heated using solar power and then filterd using the filter system we have ctreated the use of there two functions will improve the quailty of water they do recieve.

Photo of Uve Kindia
Team

I really like this idea. It could change the lifes of many people who struggle to find clean water in 3rd world developing countries. Clean water will certainly enhance the lively hood of people in those communities leading to a better life style

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thanks uve, finding clean water is very much the biggest struggle in developing countries. As a team we were very concerned about sanitation.

Photo of asif masood
Team

Excellent idea Naomi i love the idea of the solar powered water purification system keeping it green by using a natural energy method. bringing both pure water and upcoming technology to these communities is sure to have a amazing effect in the area of motivation for the people to try learn more about technology and the actual benefit of having clean water. keep it up guys!

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thanks Asif the aim for the project was to help purify water using Nepals natural resources, the use of the sun to help purify the water is definalty one the main point of out system

Photo of Diini Omar
Team

This great idea, purifying the water
However, finding clean water to drinking is very hard many countries.

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you. Yes indeed it is a massive issue in the world. But I believe to solve the problem we must concentrate on turning dirty water, into clean sterile drinking water.

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Thank you for the comment Diini, Providing them with this drinkable water will be the first step, then making it visually clean.

Photo of Bidur Gurung
Team

Great proposal team! Clear understanding of the objectives, very effective visuals and prototypes, maybe explain how the organic filter works and what happens on each level? I notice you guys have looked into different methods of water purification, great as a starting point. Now to move this idea forward possibly narrow down what you mean by pure water? Could it be a sterilised water or filtered clean water? So that you can look into products/ideas that are available to help you proceed further. I'd like to input my first hand research that in most rural communities there is only one main water source known as "Dhara" where all the people in the community go fill their buckets and use it for everything from drinking to washing clothes. So maybe you could think about different ways to sterilise the main water source? Or could it be a service to educate people about the water contamination they are causing from carry out different household chores?

Photo of Kevin Nguyen
Team

Thanks for the feedback Bidur, what we mean by pure water is water that has been purified to the extent that it can be drinkable without any consequences so the colour of the water will still be the same from its source but other than that the water is fine to drink. To answer your question it would be both as we have researched many other possibilities that they can have pure water but due their limited resources we used the methods that they can afford to do.

Tackling the water source known as "Dhara" maybe difficult since most of the sources are underground or elsewhere so having the community applying their resources once they have collected their water seemed a much more suitable option.

We have thought about a service that will help educate the community but the downside is how many people will actually attend the service or even change their everyday life that they are used to for years. They have limited resources and income which forces them to carry out their chores the way the are currently doing it so we believe that it would be difficult to educate them through a service.

Photo of Khushwant Kasba
Team

SAS soldiers are trained to Build simple water filter in remote places for survival

I copied and paste this example below

You can make a water filter from a cone of birch bark. This cone is then filled with layers of sand, charcoal, grasses, and other materials. Grasses and sand help to trap suspended particles. Charcoal helps to remove chemical impurities, but not bacteria (as is sometimes commonly believed). You may have to pass the water through the filter more than once, depending on the size of the filter and what it's made of. Generally speaking, the bigger the filter, and the more layers you have in it, the better.

The birch bark cone will need to have a fairly small hole in the bottom. The cone will have to be tied with cordage to keep it from opening up. Put a few stones in the very bottom, to help hold your filtering materials in place. Then pour in layers of charcoal, grasses, sand, and possibly other materials that you feel will help to filter out suspended particles and perhaps even bacteria.

Once you have constructed the filter, simply pour impure water through the filer, catching it in another container at the bottom.

Photo of Kevin Nguyen
Team

Thank you for suggesting another filtering technique that we can implement into our idea, the materials that you have mention are common in Nepal and especially in low income communities. This just tells us that the community in Nepal are so far behind it can create similarities with people who are at war surviving in remote locations.

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you for your great comment Khushwant. This is actually an idea we have already researched thoroughly and created visuals for (which will be uploaded soon). I believe it is a great idea for a survivor but not a practical day to day method of obtaining drinking water.

Photo of Vishagan Baskaramoorthy
Team

Good idea! You have a clear aim on what you want to achieve and this is communicated effectively through your visuals and prototypes. Have you thought about what your plans are in relation to the introduction of the water filter? (for example, will there be someone who initially comes to inform and help set up the water filters around the community?) Will there be anything else given to the community to support this service beyond the visual diagrams?

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thanks you for your comments Vishigan. This Pit style Solar still is a method for producing water through evaporation (and we have also looked into a similar method that uses condensation) however we would like to introduce a more practical way of filtering water. In Kathmandu there is no shortage of water, only a shortage of sterile water. Therefore I believe we should concentrate on filtering the water already provided by nature instead of trying to produce small amounts of clean water. Ideally we would love to collaborate with a charity or government funded organisations and collaborate thoroughly to help solve this terrible issue with the world one day at a time.

Photo of Julia Starzyk
Team

Great work Naomi and team. The grafics are awesome. Absolutely gorgeous. Regarding the projects get in touch with splash.org they have got plenty of projects with 'water cleaning'. Also maybe you should find out simple solutions like boiling water. By this process we kill loads of germs and bacterias. Maybe filtration is not a best way of sorting this problem. Find out what is out there and try it our yourself. Not necesserly how good it is in terms of purifinig water but how easy is it to use, set up, how expensive and time consuming is it etc. Hope that this will help you.

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you for your comment and suggestions Julia. We would love to collaborate with Splash they have made a significant change in peoples lives. Boiling water is a great method for killing bacteria, however the water can still be dirty and unsafe for drinking. If filtering is done correctly, boiling water is not necessary. Yes, I believe a more practical method is needed for pure water.

Photo of Jonathan Joanes
Team

Hi Naomi,

You have put together a pretty sound proposal here. Purified water is incredibly important in low-income communities for everyone of all ages.

Around 6 years ago I saw an episode of Dragons Den where 2 students were pitching for investment for a water purification device, which would be rolled out to low-income communities. Whilst the end user was the people living in tough conditions, they were planning on selling the device to charitable organisations for around £20. Anyway, here is the link. I hope this inspires you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa3zPPs3k60

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you for your contribution Jonathan. I am happy to see that they received investment, the pitch was very inspiring.

Photo of Agraj Dangal
Team

Hi
Great to hear an idea that actually is very clear on solving a key issue that we face here in Kathmandu. It would be great if you could specify where in Ktm you want to test your idea .

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Hi Agraj thank you for your feedback, as a team we are looking into which area would be best suited to test our idea , as you are from the area are there any suitable communities you would suggest ? Or know any that would like to take part in our project?

Photo of Agraj Dangal
Team

Here our target group is primarily people with low income and their children. We may not have large slum areas but I believe it doesnt have to be slums where people with low income family live. There are multiple areas where you can find such group of people who are in large numbers. It always depends upon what services you want to incorporate in your testing phase. I am open to more discussions and would love to help. As I am also working as country manager for this challenge, I can also facilitate on teaming you with local partners for collaboration.

Photo of David Citrin
Team

HI Naomi, have you engaged with SPLASH (http://splash.org/)? They have been very successful in implementing clean water programs, both in and outside of KTM, the latter being where most of the water-borne morbidity and mortality burden lie. Look forward to seeing your idea develop!

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Hey David thanks for your feedback I haven't heard of SPLASH , me and my team will look into this they sound like a great organisation to work with. Thank you we are excited to see our idea develop as well :)

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Thank you for the feedback David, we as a team are looking into organisations that we can work alongside to develop the idea and improve the problem. SPLASH is one of the organisations that would be relevant, once again thank you.

Photo of G. Quinque
Team

Nice idea Naomi!

I've spent some time in Kathmandu and yes, drinking water is a huge problem - the wikitravel guide to Nepal describes the water quality as "toxic". One of the things that makes working in Nepal as an aid worker very difficult as that (certainly until recently) it didn't have a functioning government, after the Prime Minister stepped down and an interim government was installed. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but if so, it might be more effective to try and work with aid agencies in Kathmandu rather than the national government. It might also be important to consider how these filters could be secured - drinking water is big business in Nepal, and the tools to turn well or tap water into pure water are very valuable - do you have any ideas on how this could be achieved?

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Hi thank you for your comment you have given me and my team a lot to think about. Working with aid agencies would be the better option we are currently looking for water aid agencies in the Kathmandu area to partner with.

We haven't looked into ways to secure the filters in the community yet ,as you have worked in the Kathmandu area have do u know of any secure method that are already in practise ?

Photo of Ana Maria Copetti Maccagnan
Team

Great idea, and it seems very easy for everyone learn how to build. The illustrations are also very nice and clear :)

Photo of Betul Salman
Team

Lovely illustration and prototyping, it looks like lots of work has been put in this project. A great way to make water clean to drink.
however there may be an issue with the plants and the ground as they may carry insects that could cowl in the container and make the water back to dirty.
Maybe try developing it in making a way where you protect the water that falls in the container, maybe adding another sort of filter on the opening like a paper filter or something.
But lovely idea and lovey illustrations, very easy to understand, well done :)

Photo of christos christou
Team

Thank you very much for your comment. Yes these issues have recently been raised to us and we are currently developing our idea. Coffee filters have been a common use of material for these filters another illustration will be posted soon to show this. Thanks

Photo of Betul Salman
Team

that's great! also you can think about different ways to make 'coffee filters' i think a piece of cloth works too... because coffee filters tend to be expensive and are one of these things you have to buy.

Photo of Naomi Spence
Team

Thank you for this idea! Using cloth would be a would be a lot more beneficial.
we are also looking into using clay bowls as another purification method, our idea is to use local resource the community kathmandu have at hand , so scrap material would be perfect thank you again. x

Photo of Dalv Mac
Team

Thank you Betul, there was a project that was recently done in Nepal that used Bio-sand to filter and improve the quality of the water. This is the part of our idea we are improving. Finding a beneficial material out of the resources that are already available in Nepal.