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Environment

Enabling Safe Water

November 11, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 45

I applaud C&EN for raising awareness of the need for safe water (C&EN, July 22, pages 3 and 10). The 2 million deaths per year from unsafe water as cited in Alex Scott’s reporting are truly staggering. In addition, the importance of sustainable safe drinking water from a technological as well as economic perspective is so noted.

I have had a successful career in industrial water treatment and have been fortunate to volunteer with an organization called Lifewater International (lifewater.org). Its mission is to train those in need of safe drinking water around the world to use basic, sustainable technologies such as biosand filters, small/portable drilling rigs, hand-pump repair and maintenance, as well as methods for hygiene, sanitation, and solar disinfection.

We must be careful of the word “just,” not as in “justice” but as in “just chlorinate the water” or “just lay pipe from a central treatment facility.” As Maureen Rouhi’s editorial notes, people have less than $2.00 per day to live on, so just doing this or that is never as easy as we might think.

I encourage all C&EN readers to get engaged in this global crisis. We can make a bigger difference than we already have.

Greg Bachman
Loves Park, Ill.

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