Pandit AB, Kumar JK. Clean Water for Developing Countries. Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. 2015 Jul 24;6:217-46. doi: 10.1146/annurev-chembioeng-061114-123432.
Availability of safe drinking water, a vital natural resource, is still a distant dream to many around the world, especially in developing countries. Increasing human activity and industrialization have led to a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological pollutants entering water bodies and affecting human lives. Efforts to develop efficient, economical, and technologically sound methods to produce clean water for developing countries have increased worldwide. We focus on solar disinfection, filtration, hybrid filtration methods, treatment of harvested rainwater, herbal water disinfection, and arsenic removal technologies. Simple, yet innovative water treatment devices ranging from use of plant xylem as filters, terafilters, and hand pumps to tippy taps designed indigenously are methods mentioned here. By describing the technical aspects of major water disinfection methods relevant for developing countries on medium to small scales and emphasizing their merits, demerits, economics, and scalability, we highlight the current scenario and pave the way for further research and development and scaling up of these processes. This review focuses on clean drinking water, especially for rural populations in developing countries. It describes various water disinfection techniques that are not only economically viable and energy efficient but also employ simple methodologies that are effective in reducing the physical, chemical, and biological pollutants found in drinking water to acceptable limits.