Aug. 19, 2010, 9:08 a.m.
The Australian reports on how four large businesses in India are developing low-cost water purifiers for some of the country's "poorest of the poor."
"Not only is it good business -- India's water purifier market is worth an estimated [U.S. $335 million] a year and growing by 20 percent annually -- but it offers huge social and economic benefits," the newspaper writes, noting the global threat of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea and typhoid. According to the WHO, 2.2 million children die annually from a lack of safe water and sanitation, and "[i]n India alone, about 400,000 children die annually from diseases spread by contaminated water," the newspaper writes.
"The challenge for business is to create a suitable product at the right price. In India, for example, many rural inhabitants have no access to power or running water, meaning that any low-cost water purifier must be able to operate in the most basic environment," the newspaper notes.
The article details how companies are working on products that use "ultra violet (UV) filtration, the more expensive reverse osmosis process, and chemical filtration." The piece also includes comments by Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health and Environment and leaders at two of the four companies working to develop low-cost water filters, who speak of the economic impact of clean water and sanitation (Hiscock, 8/11).