Water Filters that Can Save Millions

Sustainability Problem

80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions in developing countries and 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.

Technology Article

Revolutionary new graphene water filters could save millions of lives around the world by Katie Medlock, 3/11/2016

  • Researchers have developed a graphene water filter that could provide fresh, safe drinking water to people around the world.
  • The filter cleans water 9 times faster than current filters and is able to filter out bacteria and viruses.
  • Until now, graphene water filters have been expensive and hard to produce on an industrial scale.
  • By creating a viscous graphene oxide, the researchers have given way for the opportunity to filter water on a large scale.


  • Researchers who created the graphene water filters
  • People in need of clean water
  • Companies who invest in the technology and produce it on a mass-scale


  • The filter enters the commercial market.
  • Through donations or public-private partnerships, the filters are sent to developing countries where clean water is needed.
  • The filters are distributed to people in need.

Other sources:

Life Sack: Not your usual container

Sustainability Problem: Lack of access to a clean supply of water and sanitation is still a major issue facing approximately 63 million people to this day, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  Of this amount, most are concentrated in the Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asian regions.  This issue increases the likelihood of transmitting water-borne diseases, which leads to a large number of infant deaths every year.  The Life Sack addresses Goal #6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all” by 2030, fostering better access to clean water sources.


Technology: Life Sack is a water purification device in the form of a container that attaches as a backpack.  The idea of the sack is that it could serve as both method of transporting grains and other food staples, and then be used as a solar water purification kit once the food has been received.   Charities commonly donate grains and staples in sacks – so the Life Sack essentially serves a similar function, but has the additional function as a water purification kit.

The technology used to filter water is known as SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection Process), which uses UV-A radiation together with the built in thermal treatment process to kill bacteria and microorganisms found in water.

Technology stakeholders:

  • Local communities
  • Charities
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Local governments


  • Share technology with local communities in regions with poor access to clean water
  • Collaborate with charities and NGOs already working in the regions to scale-up the use of the technology