It’s easy to forget that people around the world faced with water sanitation and hygiene-related issues. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.4 million people die each year from water borne related causes and even more live without access to clean water. Approximately 99% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
In collaboration with Carnegie Melon and the University of Virginia, WaterisLife and DDB researchers worked diligently to provide a cheap and efficient way to filter water. At the same, researchers sought to educate people about safe drinking habits as well as the dangers of contaminated water. These efforts led to the creation of the “Drinkable Book.”
Dr. Theresa “Teri” Dankovich, the leading researcher, discovered that after coating card-stock with silver nanoparticles, each page filters bacteria and toxins via attraction to yield purified water. Teri has proven that the filters leave water more than 99.9% pure. If you think books are old news, you sure are wrong. Each page of the book filters about 30 days’ of clean drinking water, while the whole book lasts roughly four years.
Dankovich led her team of undergraduates from the University of Virginia to conduct field tests in South Africa. Teri explained that “all of the chemicals used to treat the paper have been selected because they are safe, renewable, and nontoxic.” The pages are also catered to each country in which they will be used.
Each page of the book is divided into two squares: the top half of information is English, while the bottom half is printed in the locally spoken language. The end goal is to have the books printed in all 33 countries where WaterisLife functions.
In the video below, Dr. Theresa Dankovich, the creator of the “Drinkable Book,” explains the science behind each page and its future opportunities. Hopefully with the help of funding, the books will be printed for pennies a page since the chemical treatment is relatively inexpensive. To learn more, check out WaterisLife, where you can donate and find out how to get involved.