These aren’t just any old flowerpots

The Artdog Image of Interest

These Cambodians are making life-saving devices. Those things that look like flowerpots are actually ceramic water purifiers. They save lives by making it possible for people to have clean, safe drinking water, even when their only water source is a muddy, polluted river. They’ve dramatically cut down on diarrheal illnesses since they were first introduced in 2002. That they can be made locally and employ local people is an added bonus.

The filters work surprisingly well, for such a low-tech solution. They eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-borne disease agents.

As far as I could discover, the principle was first developed by Henry Doulton, a Victorian pottery manufacturer (his father co-founded the Royal Doulton company), who was inspired by the discoveries of Louis Pasteur.

In honor of Social Justice February, this month I’m exploring innovative, sustainable technologies for delivering clean water to populations in needThe United Nations declared in 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, and called upon all nations to help ensure that “safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation” should be accessible to everyone on the earth. Yet such access is unavailable to literally billions of people, and the pressures of climate change and population growth make the problem worse each year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to cfile Daily for this image and an informative story to go with it.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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