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Community-Scale Solar-Powered Drinking Water Ozonation

Samuel Dorevitch of the University of Illinois at Chicago in the U.S. will build solar-powered ozonation systems to supply purified water to families living in Kenyan slums. Many peri-urban informal settlements (slums) around the world lack safe, affordable drinking water. In the absence of centralized water purification, methods like chlorination, solar disinfection, and filtration can be used. However, these are time-consuming and expensive, and are generally not monitored for water quality. They have developed microplasma technology for a solar-powered system that can purify surface water by ozonation without the need for electricity. They will increase the scale of this system to produce 2,000 litres of clean water each day and add sensing and reporting technology for sending information on water quality to local health officials. To test their approach, a purification system run by an array of solar panels will be installed in each of two slums in Kisumu city to provide water for 50 families and be run by local clean water teams. Two frameworks for managing and sustaining the clean water system - a membership-based cooperative and a for-profit vendor charging a nominal fee – will also be tested. The results will be used to inform the next stage of expansion to systems with a 10,000 litre/day capacity in cities in two African and two South Asian countries.

More information about Innovation for WASH in Urban Settings (Round 22)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.