Water Poverty

“Not having access to clean water” is a euphemism for profound deprivation. It means that people live more than one kilometer from the nearest safe water source and that they collect water from drains, ditches or streams that might be infected with pathogens and bacteria that can cause severe illness and death. In rural sub-Saharan Africa millions of people share their domestic water sources with animals or rely on unprotected wells that are breeding grounds for pathogens.” (UNDP 2006: 33)

Water Poverty According to the United Nations Development Program, there is a global crisis in water and sanitation, with billions of people living in the kind of squalor that was eradicated long ago in the rich world. Water management is a key factor in the global battle to remove the scourge of extreme poverty and to build secure and prosperous lives for hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. Nearly all statements on poverty reduction and sustainable development, whether from political, intellectual or organizational leaders, affirm the importance of water.*

In the political realm, water poverty, water rights, and water management are complex and contentious issues. While the global water crisis is a critical issue for governments and societies worldwide, the important fact is that poor people face this crisis on a daily basis; their lives are closely linked to their access to water and its multiple uses and functions. 

While data differs slightly by source, there is general agreement that nearly 1.5 billion people are without access to improved sources of water, and two nearly 2.5 billion people lack hygienic sanitation. Exposure to disease caused by those conditions, alone, contributes to more than 2 million children dying every year. 

According to the United Nations Development Program, those living in water poverty, who have a water source within one kilometer of where they live, consume around 20 liters—or five gallons—per day for all their needs. Many sources report the water poverty level to be at or below 5-7 gallons per day. This point is relevant to the approach taken by Daedalus.*

Paralleling the situation with housing poverty, it remains a grave moral shortcoming that approximately 1.5 billion people–nearly one out of every three people in the developing world–do not have access to a safe and reliable supply of water for their daily needs. In many instances, women and children walk several kilometers each day just to collect enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Often they resort to shallow wells, polluted rivers, or stagnant ponds that are easily contaminated with human and animal waste.

Pollution is rapidly diminishing the usable supply of water in many locations. Each quantity of polluted wastewater contaminates many additional quantities in the body of water that receives it. As a result, waterborne diseases account for an estimated 80 percent of all illnesses in developing countries. 

In today's world, there is no reason that anyone should have to walk long distances to retrieve water for daily use or not be able to drink the available water without risking disease or death. Similarly, there is no reason that anyone should contract illness, suffer parasitic infestation, or suffer other ills merely from drinking water to survive.

While the reasons for water poverty are complex, in general, the shortfall is not so much a scarcity of water or inadequate technologies as a lack of social and political commitment to meet the basic needs of the poor, thereby highlighting the widening differences between the haves and have-not's.

Political considerations aside, solar energy technology and water filtration techniques permits water to be drawn from any fresh water source, contaminated or not, and be consumed after appropriate, cost-effective, and affordable processing, at the local level. 

Read about Daedalus contribution to alleviation of the problems associated with water poverty. (perhaps this link ought to look different--but you get the idea (next page).
Read about Daedalus contribution to alleviation of the problems associated with water poverty. (perhaps this link ought to look different--but you get the idea (next page).

Engineered Water Systems for Developing Countries


Engineered Systems are those specifically designed and produced to meet the specific requirements of the situation in which they will be employed. Taking an approach analogous to combining technologies in the fashion of computer hardware systems integrators, "engineered systems" are customized to solve specific problems. Engineered systems can be fabricated in many sizes, shapes, and configurations from quite small counter-top laboratory units, to larger systems for towns or villages.


Daedalus’ principal objective is to combine technology to produce systems to provide clean drinking water at the community level. *Systems in the range of 25 gallons per minute would provide 36,000 gallons of water per day, which is 5-7 gallons per day for 5-7,000 people. 

Daedalus’ preference is to supply small to moderate size systems at acceptable pricing and, eventually, to establish regional production sites within various countries. Those systems may include ultra pure water systems for hospitals and clinics, and auxiliary systems for hospitals, schools and other public facilities. 


Critical factors in the design, fabrication, testing, and installation of an engineered system include: accurate waste water characterization--the critical element of any treatment scheme--a complete understanding of the nature and make up of the subject waste stream is mandatory prior to proceeding to design; required flow rates; requirements of operation; local and national design specifications--including all safety and health issues-- and the availability of power, and preferred materials.

Designs for engineered systems are site specific that is, all components are sized and engineered to meet certain design and performance criteria. System cost, therefore, is a function of what needs to be treated and is site specific. However, Daedalus is dedicated to providing the most cost-effective systems, incorporating the appropriate technology, for the application. Secondarily, the establishment of a local production capability will also generate other economic benefits.