Currently, the lack of adequate, clean drinking-water in many developing countries is one of the most compelling problems affecting humankind. Billions of people around the world do not have access to a near source of safe water, free from contamination and available when needed. According to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, some 2.2 billion people around the world suffer from poor access to safe drinking water, 4.2 billion people do not have adequate sanitation services, and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities.
Poor sanitation and inadequate management of urban, industrial, and agricultural wastewater means the drinking-water of hundreds of millions of people is dangerously contaminated or chemically polluted. Contaminated water and insufficient sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.
Some 840,000 people are estimated to die each year from diarrhoea as a result of unsafe drinking-water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Yet diarrhoea is largely preventable, and the death of 360,000 children aged under 5 years could be avoided each year if these risk factors were addressed.
Many reports suggest that the most immediate solution for this serious humanitarian problem involves domestic water disinfection, and that approaches to support the households in these efforts should be promoted. Therefore, low-cost systems for drinking-water treatment for application at household level are required. One of the most widespread solutions is Solar Water Disinfection or SODIS method, since it is very simple, economical and its application is safe. Besides, SODIS is recommended by the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and the International Red Cross-Red Crescent Movement, as a way to treat drinking -water in developing countries.
Recently, there has been a new development in the form of the ASDIS method, which represents an important advancement from SODIS. It makes use of a fully harmless, novel photocatalyst with easiness of use and reuse. Thus, ASDIS represents an environmentally friendly, economical and faster solution than other alternatives, yielding clean, safe drinking-water in shorter time.
ASDIS offers its technology to cooperation agencies, NGOs, foundations, international bodies and other non-profit institutions, in order to contribute towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 proposed by the United Nations, Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, one of the most compelling problems affecting humankind.