Creating Impact Through Design
31 Aug 2009
Two new innovative designs are bringing clean water to many countries across the world.
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The Aquaduct is an exciting new concept in pedal power, which seeks to address two main challenges that surround water in the developing world: sanitation and transportation. The bike is designed to carry large quantities of water, while cleaning it at the same time. Currently, thousands of people every day fall victim to water related diseases, with 1.1 billion people around the world lacking access to clean water.
The functional model was designed and constructed over a three-week period for the ‘Pedal-Powered Machine Contest’. As the rider pedals, a pump attached to the crank takes water from the large holding tank and passes it through a carbon filter, to a smaller, cleaner tank. This can then be detached from the bike and closed for contamination-free home storage and use.
Treadle Pump Brings New Life to Nepal
Another innovative design for providing clean water is the new treadle pump ñ a human-powered device that lifts water from wells, boreholes, lakes and rivers, using a foot-driven lever. They new design is able to do most of the work of a motorised pump, but costs much less to both purchase and run. It also means that farmers can the use the pump for longer because leg muscles tire less than the ones in your arms.
In Nepal, the charity Practical Action has recently negotiated land for many traditionally landless communities in the region. Central to the success of this project is the special low cost treadle pump. Operated by one or two adults, water can be drawn from wells up to 7.5m deep at a rate of 18m3 per hour ñ six times more water than a traditional hand pump. Most of the parts are manufactured locally, bringing
much needed income to the local economy.
Now farmers can generate more income from their land, both by extending the traditional growing season and expanding the types of crops that can be cultivated.
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