Sunday, April 2, 2017

Good News Even Trump Can't Screw Up: Natural Ways to Clean Water

It's not even being cynical to realize that the current Republican regime led by Trump is so anti-science that creative ways to produce safe drinking water would rile conservative ideology. Let's hope they don't hear about it and fight to defund it.

This is no way to live, but two billion people worldwide are water-insecure.

Good news is hard to find these days, and that's why this article at Salon is so uplifting:
Then there’s the most unlikely of purification tools: human waste. While places like California are sanitizing sewer water to make it available for drinking, this process is expensive and energy-intensive — i.e., not reasonable for the developing world. In these traditional treatment plants, the water in sewage is separated from biomass via filters, before being sanitized with UV light. Imagine instead a machine that can turn sewage into clean drinking water in a process so efficient, it produces enough electricity to power itself and the surrounding area.
That’s the idea behind the Omni-Processor, a wastewater purification machine the size of a couple of school buses. It converts sewage water to vapor, at which point the biomass portion drops out so that it can be burned for power. Then, this vapor is converted back into water, minus any human waste. The first Omni-Processor model has been undergoing field testing in Senegal since May of 2015, where it’s now capable of processing 4,000 tons of sludge per year. The second model, which has double the capacity, was recently shipped to West Africa, where it will be able to produce nearly 12,000 gallons of potable water per day.
Great stuff. By the way, it's not a joke that Republicans would not favor wasting money on this sort of innovation. Here's how White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney views famine relief, via Mother Jones:
Starvation and famine? Yawn. Another reporter asked Mulvaney about the administration's plans to reduce spending on the United Nations and foreign aid, despite famine and starvation facing 20 million people—a "humanitarian crisis," according to the UN. "Are you worried that some of the most vulnerable people on earth will suffer?" the reporter asked. "We're absolutely reducing funding to the UN and to the various foreign aid programs," Mulvaney said. "That should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign."
Heartless is the new normal.

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