Seeds of Moringa Tree Used to Purify Water

An ancient technique for purifying water may offer new hope for the over 1 billion people who have no access to clean drinking water.  The Moringa oleifera tree has been used for hundreds of years by people in Sudan to purify water, as well as for food.  The method has never been widely disseminated, but in 2010 a publication by Michael Lea revealed the Moringa tree’s properties.  According to Lea, when the seeds of this tree are crushed into powder and mixed with surface water, a reduction of bacteria by 90-99 percent can be achieved.

This news provides great hope for those living in areas where the tree is widely grown, including Africa, Central and South America, India, and Southeast Asia. In Ghana, the Moringa tree is grown on plantations, and its leaves are used for food and the seeds used as a spice. According to the UN site IRIN, the tree grows quickly and resists drought, and can be grown in many areas.  The seeds are soft and can be easily crushed, the IRIN site further states.  The fact that the tree is already widely grown, and the ease with which the seeds can be crushed, make this method ideal for those without other sources of water purification.

Kebreab Ghebremichael, a water purification expert with UNESCO, states that using the seeds of Moringa tree is probably best employed at a household level.  According to him, the seeds would pose problems with odor and taste if forced to sit for extended periods of time when used on a large scale basis.  He further states that this method would work better for surface water than with underground water, and that it is best used for emergencies and where other methods of water purification are not available.

The World of Water Education: Project WET

Instead of focusing on a Water Charity this Tuesday, we chose nonprofit organization Project WET. This organization focuses on water education through reaching out to teachers, community members, children, and parents in the United States and around the world. Project WET achieves this goal through publishing informative water materials in different languages, creating school curriculum for different age groups, and sponsoring trainings around the world. Project WET also organizes community water events such as the Global Water Education Village. This event is held every three years at the World Water Forum, the last one was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The goal of the Global Water Education Village is to discuss local actions in water education that are successful at reaching children.

Project WET is committed to reaching out to audiences around the world and in ushering water education into the twenty-first century.  Most recently, Project WET has teamed up with the National Park Service.  In a press release issued on June 22, 2011, Project WET and the National Park Service announced that they would be collaborating on an educational series titled, “Discover the Waters of Our National Parks.”  This science based program will include hands-on activities, videos, special workshops, online courses, guides and an internet portal. Project WET President, Dennis Nelson stated, “Water connects our national parks to each other and to the people of the United States through the water cycle, making national parks a perfect springboard for educating people about water.” This project is going be launched at select national parks within the next year, so keep a look out at your local park!

Project WET’s website offers lots of links for parents, educators, corporations and museums.  If you want to get involved, there are plenty of avenues for that, too. Of course, you can donate on their secure website in any amount you choose, but you can also choose some more innovative ways as well. For example, you can sponsor a classroom and provide a Water and Sustainability Kit which includes copies of various activity and educational booklets for every child.  If you want to be more hands on, you can train to become a Project WET facilitator. After completing the course, you can deliver workshops to teachers and educators in your area. A great way to get involved in your community for a worthy cause!

So this week, Project WET is our pick for a great water focused organization. If you’re a teacher, parent or just someone interested in making a difference through water education, be sure to check out Project WET!

Global Usage of Air and Water Filters Increases

Air & Water Filter Use Increases Globally

Reports about poor air and water conditions are reaching global proportions. The growing need for air and water filters result from inadequate conditions of current air and water quality. We see evidence of the rising concern about clean air and safe drinking water demonstrated through various charities dedicated to addressing this dilemma internationally. Such concerns are invoking the immediate implementation of stricter air and water pollution regulations.

Together, the United States and Europe account for a major share of the global air filter and filtration equipment market. The demand for air filters in developing countries will outpace the type of mature growth in markets such as the United States, Japan and Europe. China is expected to supersede Japan by becoming the second largest market for air filtration equipment behind the U.S.

Recently, the Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company, released a market analysis about the increased demand for filters in China. They reported that by 2014 the demand for air and water filters in China is projected to grow by 13.5% annually to 66.2 billion Yuan (Chinese currency). Comparatively, this growth is approximately $10.2 billion in U.S. dollars. The increased demand in China is supported by a rapid growth in motor vehicle and other transportation equipment production, stocks, government policies that promote energy conservation and emission reductions. Sales of fluid filters will be fueled by the growth in non-agricultural water use and expanding urbanization. Sales of air filters are projected to single-handedly rise by 13.7% per year through 2014.

The demand for increased global usage of filters will be spurred by rising manufacturing output of HVAC equipment, metal products, building construction materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Many of these manufactured products are either equipped with air filters or produced in manufacturing facilities with high air purification requirements. As income levels grow, more people in China will be able to afford water and air purification equipment for their homes. The growing demand for higher quality and extended life filters are likely to boost the overall market value.

Cutting edge technology along with innovation in air and water filtration media, product design, cost and efficiency will boost future growth. The outlook remains optimistic as consumer spending increases and the shift for better air and water filtration continues to make progress.