For our Economics classes at Pinchot last year, I – with a few friends and classmates – worked on water in California. My part was focusing on the inefficiency and the leaks occuring in the State. The findings are quite unsettling.
Back to May, a group of water scientists issued a declaration stating that over half the world population would face water shortage by the middle of the century.Given how we just can’t live without the precious fluid, let’s hope we will act.
The main causes are known : over-pumping of underground aquifers, soaring populations, pollution, the over-use of fertilizers, and climate change. All the factors are human-induced and thus, completely avoidable.
These aren’t exactly news as we have seen that by 2030, we could be facing a global water crisis. Lucky us, consuming less water is always feasible as we have seen in the past years.
We all know that around a billion people are not eating enough and around 1.5 billion do not have access to electricity. But do you have an idea of how many of our fellow human beings are lacking access to proper toilets ?
2.5 billion people, more than a third of Mankind. This staggering amount leads to 2.5 million cases of diarrhea in children each year, and 1.5 million kids die as a result of cleaning the crude pit latrines and septic tanks.
Given those numbers, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has decided to launch a competition due to invent what could be called Toilet 2.0.
Here is a smelly question : why are we putting together what Nature separates ? This is the question asked by a Swedish researcher about toilets. Putting urine and feces together is not a good idea as it is simply a waste of resources.
Moreover, flushing with liters and liters of perfectly drinkable water is a bad idea as water scarcity is already striking around the world and will spread as climate gets warmer.
Now here come scientists from Singapore with an idea that could revolutionize the way we dispose from our bodily waste.