Unesco Green Citizens

Aqualuz – Safe Drinking Water For All

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Project begin: 17/08/2015

Millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water. To help solve the problem, Anna Luísa Beserra Santos created an affordable device that uses the sun to purify water in cisterns.

Leading organisation: SDW EQUIPAMENTOS, CONSULTORIA E TREINAMENTOS
Covered Countries: Brazil
Theme: Education for Sustainable Development, Hydrology
Sub-themes: Access to water, Poverty and inequality reduction, Resources management, Rural areas, Water education, Water resource management, Water sanitation, Water science
Selection: 2020
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Today, 785 million people lack safe drinking water, and 2 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. For these men, women and children, clean water would help turn problems into potential – unlocking education, economic opportunities and improving health.

Using technology to support rural communities

Anna always wanted to be a scientist and, at the age of 17, she overcome financial and technical challenges to design Aqualuz. This cheap yet efficient device uses the sun to purify water in cisterns (for up to 20 years), with no need for chemicals or complex filters. 10L of treated water cost just US $ 0.02.

Based on solar water disinfection (SODIS), this innovative filter is an ideal way to meet the needs communities who use rainwater harvesting systems – in her native Brazil, this represents 1 million people especially in the rural semi-arid northwest. So, far 1,500 people use the device and have been given training, so they can actively participate in deploying the technology and become replicators in their neighbourhoods.

Over the next 3 years, Anna hopes to optimise manufacturing costs and reach 1 million people by taking the technology to other countries in America, Africa and Asia.

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