There are many ways to filter and purify water out in the wild, the MSR Guardian and Oasis being a couple of the most recent we've looked at. Since 1999, Hydro-Photon has gone with ultraviolet light, offering lightweight, compact SteriPen purifiers that quickly zap away microorganisms. With its new Ultraviolet Reflection (UVR) technology, it makes the UV purification process even faster, so outdoor enthusiasts can get clean water more efficiently than ever.
Many parts of the world are facing unprecedented shortages of water. A design team based in drought-ridden California has come up with a new concept to help people consume less water. Droppler does not require complicated installation of hardware. Instead, it taps into the human mind to trigger behavioral change.
New analysis of data collected by ESA's Rosetta orbiter has revealed significant quantities of water ice on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P). While the presence of water had previously been observed on 67P both in the comet's coma, and as frost on the surface, this discovery represents the first time that a surface deposit of water ice has ever been definitively confirmed on the comet.
It can be pretty easy to lose sight of your water usage when taking a shower. Indeed standing under that powerful stream is a perfect way to churn through a lot of both water and energy. The team behind Hydrao is aiming to build awareness around these important resources, with an LED-equipped shower head that changes color when you're overstaying your welcome.
Recently, showers like the Nebia and the Hamwell's e-Shower have launched to help us save water when showering. The WaterDrop foldable watering can, however, takes a much simpler approach. It is designed to collect the average 3.5 l (0.8 gal) of water we waste waiting for the shower to warm up.
A cheap, easy to maintain, "green" toilet that uses no water and turns human waste into electricity and clean water will be trialed in 2016, possibly in Ghana. Dubbed the "Nano Membrane Toilet" by its creators from Cranfield University, UK, this new approach to managing waste could help some of the world's 2.3 billion people who have no access to safe, hygienic toilets.
In the move toward sustainable homes, the progress of showers has been more of a trickle. Ten minutes in a traditional shower can use up to 100 l (22 gal) of water. The Hamwells e-Shower, however, promises high pressure and volume, while saving up to 90 percent on water and 80 percent on energy.
Engineers from the University of Illinois have used nanotechnology to model a new membrane that can filter salt from seawater at higher volumes than ever before. The membrane is made from a nanometer-thin layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) studded with tiny holes called nanopores. By "pulling" clean water through itself while filtering out salt and other compounds, the membrane has the potential to make desalination plants much more energy-efficient.
A new study from the University of Victoria has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.
As access to clean water continues to be an issue throughout the developing world, there's an increased demand for easier ways to turn contaminated and salty water into something you can drink. Researchers at MIT may have found a solution using a method they are calling shock electrodialysis. It uses electric shock waves to separate contaminated or salty water into two separate streams, with a natural barrier between each one.