Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions
Supplying Safe Drinking Water
Did You Know?
- Water covers 71% of Earth’s surface
- Barely 1% is freshwater that people can use
- It takes 39,000 gallons of water to make one car
- A 5-minute shower uses 50-100 quarts of water
- Water is the only substance that exists naturally as a solid, liquid, and gas
- The United Nations declared 2005-2015 “Water for Life,” the International Decade for Action on water-related issues.
|From San Diego to Santiago to Seville to Sydney, billions of people are facing shortages of clean water. More than one billion people have no access to clean drinking water. And things are getting worse.
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Science for Kids
Hands on activities for young aspiring chemists
A magazine for high school students
In India and Bangladesh, drinking water is contaminated with arsenic. Three enterprising scientists have each recently devised a way to remove arsenic from drinking water. Discover how they did it.
Today, we take for granted that our tap water is free of deadly germs. A century ago, Edward Frankland saved thousands of lives by showing Londoners how to safeguard their water supply.
Our tap water may be safe to drink, but many of us prefer to filter it for a better taste. Do some tests to find out how filtered water and tapped water compare.
Summertime, and the living is easy – if you know which chemicals will keep the swimming pool clean.
Yesterday’s bath water is today’s crystal clear drinking water, thanks to chemists at the wastewater treatment plant.
Careers in Chemistry
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS®)
SciFinder®, a research tool produced by CAS (a division of the American Chemical Society), found 6381 references in the CAS databases on the topic of "water purification" published this year. The CAS databases cover references from more than 10,000 major scientific journals and 57 patent authorities worldwide. As an illustration of the global interest in this topic, approximately 23% of these references were Chinese and Japanese patent applications. www.cas.org
In the News
- Baker M.N., Taras M.J., 1981, The quest for pure water – The history of the twentieth century, volume I and II, Denver: AWWA
- Christman K., 1998, The history of chlorine, Waterworld 14: page 66-67
- Crittenden J.C., Rhodes Trussell R., Hand D.W., Howe K.J., Tchobanoglous G., 2005, Water treatment: Principles and design, 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Diodorus Siculus, 1939, Library of history, volume III, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, UK
- EPA, 2000, The history of drinking water treatment, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water (4606), Fact Sheet EPA-816-F-00-006, United States
- Outwater A., 1996, Water: A natural history, Basic Books, New York, USA
Sources for this podcast
- Countering an Approaching Water Crisis
Innovations Report, March 25, 2008
- Water Under Pressure
Nature, March 19, 2008
- Materials Science of Water Purification – Symposium JJ
Materials Research Society, April 18-19, 2006
- Science and technology for water purification in the coming decades
Nature, Dec. 14, 2007
- Simple Telemedicine for Developing Regions: Camera Phones and Paper-Based Microfluidic Devices for Real-Time, Off-Site Diagnosis
Analytical Chemistry, April 11, 2008
- Nitrification in Premise Plumbing: Role of Phosphate, pH and Pipe Corrosion
Environmental Science & Technology, Feb. 20, 2008
- Plugging in to more water use
Environmental Science & Technology, February. 20, 2008
- Metal pollution is toxic for endangered eels
Environmental Science & Technology, May. 7, 2008
- Why is global sanitation so elusive?
Environmental Science & Technology, June. 11, 2008
- Pipe scales release hazardous metals into drinking water
Environmental Science & Technology, January. 23, 2008
- The World’s Water
Special issue Environmental Science & Technology, June 15, 2008
- SciFinder®, from CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society.
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