Innovative Solution for Water Scarcity: Purifying Acid Mine Drainage into Drinkable Water
Water scarcity is a global issue that affects millions of people every day. On World Water Day, we celebrate the importance of water and take a closer look at an innovative solution that could provide access to clean drinking water for millions of people in South Africa.
Belief Nkatlo, a chemical engineer from the University of Johannesburg and founder of BN-Aqua Solutions, has invented a prototype that purifies acid mine drainage (AMD) into drinkable water. Boitumelo uses residual metallurgical slag to treat contaminated acidic water and make it safe for human consumption. This chemical process has the potential to help thousands of people who suffer from drinking water restrictions in South Africa, which faces significant water shortages.
Boitumelo’s invention has the potential to solve two critical problems: the availability of water and treating contaminated water. According to the chemical engineer, the prototype behind him could serve up to a million people. This achievement is remarkable, given that South Africa is one of the most water-insecure regions globally and faces water scarcity issues.
In addition, the invention has the potential to help countries in West and Central Africa, which are among the most water-insecure regions in the world. The United Nations estimates that around 190 million children in 10 African countries are at great risk due to the lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene. The situation is further compounded by the climate emergency, which has impacted water availability.
Boitumelo’s invention is an excellent example of the innovative solutions needed to address water scarcity issues globally. On World Water Day, as we raise awareness about the importance of water, we recognize the urgency of sustainable water use and conservation. It is a vital step towards ensuring that everyone has access to clean and safe drinking water.