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How Can Tech Alleviate the Water Crisis?

By Kayla Matthews

Fresh water is a finite resource, and its preservation is integral to sustaining a society. When scarcity or contaminants compromise that resource, it causes widespread suffering on an enormous scale, and the issue is global. It’s so severe that 844 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water.

Those in leadership positions must adopt new methods to combat this problem, providing for communities in need. Through recent innovations in technology, they can do so, improving the lives of affected individuals as they make significant progress toward alleviating the water crisis.

Maintaining Supply

Fresh water isn’t easily accessible in some parts of the world, and countries have to manage it with care. They’ve addressed their difficulties through a number of inventive solutions, and technology has made a significant impact on how they function.

In Dubai, officials have approached the subject of water waste and security through intelligent systems that integrate different programs. They’ve used real-time analytics, big data, and IoT to work around the issue of scarcity, using the information they collect to maximize the efficiency of their operations.

These solutions manifest in more palpable ways. A firm from Brisbane named Atmos Blue has created machines capable of converting the moisture in the air into high-quality drinking water at a rapid rate. This equipment, which produces anywhere from 250 to 10,000 liters of clean water per day, could provide emergency relief during crises or long droughts.

Managing Contaminants

Though news coverage of contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, has waned, it remains a relevant issue for those living in the area. What began as a cost-cutting measure escalated into a massive public-health crisis, and years later, the effects still linger. That said, donated technology shows promise in reducing risks.

Wealthy entrepreneur Elon Musk has contributed water stations and filtration equipment to schools in Flint, hoping to prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria like Legionella. With access to new technology, these schools can replace unsafe drinking fountains with secure alternatives.

The changes don’t end there. Other innovations in technology can measure the quality of drinking water to ensure it’s free of harmful impurities. Researchers at Berkley Lab developed a device that can detect over 60,000 species of bacteria and archaea, expediting the standard process of assessing health risks. The PhyloChip, as it’s known, allows for a more comprehensive picture of a microbial community, helping water management companies handle hazards.

Future Solutions

Some solutions to the water crisis are easier to comprehend than others. A network of integrated data systems or a detection device are well within the realm of reason, but scientists and researchers have approached the crisis from an unconventional angle. Some have even considered using rain-making lasers.

Where other efforts to stimulate rainfall have failed, laser technology has proven its potential. A beam made up of short pulses can ionize oxygen and nitrogen molecules to create a plasma channel of ionized molecules. These molecules can serve as nuclei for natural condensation, leading to rain.

While this technology is still in development, it might see use in the future. Years from now, ending a drought may only require the press of a button that sends a laser shooting into the atmosphere. Presently, the technology and techniques organizations employ to address the issue are suitable.

Providing for Communities in Need

Managing the water crisis is not a simple endeavor. It requires the coordination of technology and careful management, sustained through the collective effort of committed individuals around the world. Progress is possible, but it’s slow and sometimes difficult to see. That said, the changes are very real, and technology is leading the charge.

Author Bio: Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to

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How Can Tech Alleviate the Water Crisis?

December 5, 2018
By I&T Today

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