Water is critical to planetary health
Okay, so you know by now that we’re pretty keen on the environment. We’ve been talking about shopping sustainably, and even throwing loads of sustainability-themed events. What can we say. We’re obsessed.
But something that we’ve only just realised is a lot of this dialogue is…well…it’s kind of land based. And considering that 71% of the planet is covered in water, we’re thinking it might be time to broaden our horizons a little.
We’re very excited to be partnering with Clean Water Wave and the GOES Foundation to help place water at the centre of our sustainability and climate goals this Fringe. Over the next few weeks and months we’ll be talking more about the awesome work that they do, and why clean water is essential for not just our health, but the health of the planet too!
Introducing the Clean Water Wave
One of our two partners for this year’s Fringe is Clean Water Wave – a Scottish social enterprise that is flipping the status quo of water treatment. Typically, water treatment requires a LOT of energy, chemicals, and technical expertise. That means it can be unaffordable for many low income communities across the world – even in Scotland!
See here’s the thing with water…
Just because it looks clean and clear doesn’t mean it is safe to drink. Groundwater (water that is deep below the surface) is often assumed to be free from bacteria and other contaminants because it looks cleaner than pond or river water. But other contaminants, such as arsenic, may be present.
Arsenic in groundwater is common in many countries and is naturally occurring; for example, arsenic is very commonly found in groundwater across the Ganges and Brahmaputra river deltas in South Asia. Drinking this arsenic water over a long period of time results in cancers, skin lesions, developmental defects, diabetes, neurotoxicity and heart problems. Using arsenic contaminated water to irrigate food crops and for animals also means arsenic enters the food chain, too.
Or, to look a little closer to home, Cocaine and Ketamine were recently found in every single shrimp tested from a batch collected in Suffolk.
And here’s the thing with water treatment…
It’s often wildly unsustainable. The CWW team have seen lots of water projects that are well intentioned but that simply aren’t built to last. That means that money is spent on, for example, a water pump for a community to get drinking water – which is great! Only for the pump to fail because no one is responsible for its upkeep, or the community can’t afford to repair it, or can’t easily get hold of the right equipment to fix it. The pump is left in a state of disrepair. So, simply, there’s no water for that community.
Treating water sustainably
That’s not ideal. Obviously. Which is why Clean Water Wave’s work is so ground-breaking. With a small team of water scientists and community engagement specialists, they have developed an innovative water treatment system that can clean 50,000L every day – using solar energy, and without using chemicals and moving parts. Just a perfect example of what happens when we put sustainability and longevity at the centre of our thought process.
Clean Water Wave has been set up in response to both of these issues. Their CAFE filtration system ensures that the quality of the water it filters is genuinely safe for human consumption.
Water and social enterprise
The #CleanAquaForEveryone water treatment system is the answer to sustainable decentralised water provision for community scale. And alongside this new technology, CWW have created a business model to ensure these systems can keep running well in to the future, no matter where they are.
CWW’s social enterprise model means that all of their profits and assets are used for socially and environmentally beneficial projects and not for personal benefit. Any surplus CWW makes as a company is returned to further our goals to have 10million people drinking truly clean and safe water over the next ten years.
Get in touch!
If you’ve got any questions about drinking water, pollutants, social enterprises, or community development, get in touch with the Clean Water Wave team – they’d love to hear from you!
They will also be with us throughout the Festival, so keep a look out for our programme.