Design for Water!

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Image courtesy: Denver Water
Disclaimer: This is my humble contribution to The Blog Action Day 2010.

Design is "a way of looking at the world with an eye toward changing it" ~Warren Berger.

For most of us, clean water comes with the twist of a faucet. But for one in six people globally, access to water requires hard work: hours of walking, waiting in line, and heavy lifting.*
Real solutions are needed. Ones that require small resources and yet can have great impact. That's where design comes in play. What design got to do with this you'd say? Designers are essentially problem solvers and I wouldn't put it better than Warren Berger. On his interview with CNN where he explains how design can change the world:
"What design actually can do, it can solve problems on a case-by-case basis around the world. As it does that, it changes the world, because it changes the reality for people wherever the situation is happening.
If design can change water delivery in a certain part of the world, then it changes that part of the world for those people. That's the way design changes the world."

And that's exactly what LifeStraw is trying to do, giving access to clean water to the most needy parts of the world, as stated in Alex Steffen's book: "Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century" :

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"It's easy to think of clean water in the abstract, but how do you make it possible in places where there is a lot of dangerous contamination? LifeStraw filters contaminated water instantly, so it is clean by the time it touches a person's lips. It could spark a real revolution. There won't be a need to build purification plants, and the LifeStraw will be able to help those in most immediate need of clean water in a way that's cheaper and more instantly effective than any alternative." source

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Another much more aesthetic design but not less brilliant is Designer Ju Hyun Lee’s Mohock Smart Umbrella. It's designed to collect water in an embedded collecting vessel that could be used for watering plants for instance.

A small action one could say, but let's not forget that: Small actions X Lots of people = Big Change. Some tips to save water one drop at a time on the WeareWhatweDo campaign's website. worth the check out!

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Goodies:

[PDF] Ten Things You Should Know About Water
Wired: Where is the Blue Planet's water
The virual water Project
A great collection of Infographics about Water

*source: UNICEF / WHO Water for Life. Making It Happen. 2005

Lamia Ben

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