|Photo credit: Roger McLassus|
|Dr. John Snow|
So anyway, the increase of urbanization/industrialization led to increased demand for safe drinking water, and over the past century methods for water treatment have developed on different scales.
Large scale solutions: Dams, aqueducts, chlorination
The Hoover Dam in 1935 (Black Canyon, Nevada) and the Aswan High Dam in the 70's (in Egypt) control flooding, provide water for municipalities and irrigation, and generate electric power. In 1919, civil engineer Abel Wolman and chemist Linn H. Enslow develop a formula for chlorinating urban water supplies, taking into account bacteria, acidity, and other factors relating to taste and purity to determine dosage. These methods, while effective, are financially out of reach for many developing countries, who must turn to other solutions, like the ones described below.
Small scale solutions: UV Waterworks by Ashok Gadgil and other small-scale purification systems
In watching this video, I was reminded of the quote that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." There is beauty in the idea that such a "stupidly simple" device could make such a huge difference in the lives of so many people. Clean water and its distribution will continue to be important as long as humans need water, which is as long as, well, pretty much forever.