About 663 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water, and the impacts are devastating. In developing countries, nearly 80 percent of illnesses are linked to poor water quality, and children miss 443 million school days annually because of water-related disease.
Scientists and businesses are collaborating to do something about it.
When the United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day in 1993, the global population stood at 5.5 billion people. Today, that number hovers around 7.4 billion, increasing pressure to find clean water solutions where people need it most.
Inventions like the Janicki OmniProcessor, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are helping find solutions. This engineering breakthrough converts human sewage into electricity and clean drinking water that actually tastes good — just ask Bill Gates:
Not all technological advances are mechanical. At just 4 grams, the P&G water purification packet almost magically changes 10 liters of unsafe and dirty water into clean, drinkable water. In use since 2004, the packets are estimated to have saved tens of thousands of lives: