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The Agua Autónomo Project

Water Crisis
Scarcity of potable water afflicts over 1/5 of the worlds' population (over 1.2 billion people) and is a leading cause of child mortality world-wide. 1 Fresh water resources are anticipated to become increasingly scarce and will remain among the most important environmental and human health challenges facing the planet in coming decades. 2

Sustainable Science & Capacity Building
Agua Autónomo refers to the idea of distributed water independence for all communities within the context of local watersheds and ecologies. The primary objective of this project is the development and application of appropriate technologies to facilitate community capacity to sustainably produce potable water from local water supplies without long term reliance on international aid or support.

Solar Distillation & Disinfection
Our focus within this effort is an investigation into low- tech solar distillation and disinfection techniques. Research suggests that this technology has an important role to play as one facet of developing water independence in regions with sufficient solar resources. Solar distillation and disinfection requires little physical infrastructure, can provide water free of salts, heavy metals, and many industrial pollutants as well as bacterial contamination. Work by groups internationally, our performance tests on solar distillation in Chiapas, Mexico, and ongoing work in the semi-arid border region of Northern Baja California, Mexico suggest that further development of these approaches should be conducted using local materials and crafts people within at risk communities. The Agua Autonomo Project is complemented by our concurrent water quality survey designed to expand upon existing quantitative physical assessments of local water sources using accesible technologies, a local climate survey necessary to support quantitative assessments of solar technologies, and various capacity building and educational outreach efforts.


1 World Health Organization: International Decade for Action 'Water For Life' 2005 -2015
2 World Bankd Group: Water Resources Management (Water and Climate Change)

Updated 5/7/16