Bio-mimicry is a term that refers to ways in which human beings use ideas derived from nature in order to come up with environmental friendly and sustainable solutions to the different challenges that we face in the world today.
And so today I thought I should share with you one of the projects that has REALLY inspired me.
Harvesting Water out of Thin Air
In Africa, a large percentage of women and children are walking long distances and spend most of their time in search of what has now come to be known as the blue gold-Water. More than 300 million people in Africa lack clean water. What really breaks my heart is that even after all this, the kind of water collected is murky, muddy and very polluted….water that is unsuitable for human consumption. Their health is endangered by micro-organisms in the water. Babies are often sickened when women must mix infant formula using the dirty water.
This situation has driven an MIT graduate student is to work to make water available for the world’s poor by refining the tools and techniques of fog harvesting.
Access to water is a pressing global issue: the World Health Organization and UNICEF estimate that nearly 900 million people worldwide live without safe drinking water. The burden of finding and transporting that water falls heavily on women and children. “As a middle-class person, I think it’s terrible that the poor have to spend hours a day walking just to obtain a basic necessity,” Chhatre says.
A fog-harvesting device consists of a fence-like mesh panel, which attracts droplets, connected to receptacles into which water drips. Chhatre has co-authored published papers on the materials used in these devices, and believes he has improved their efficacy. “The technical component of my research is done,” Chhatre says. He is pursuing his work at MIT Sloan and the Legatum Center in order to develop a workable business plan for implementing fog-harvesting devices.