Improvements in water intervention projects through product design methods.

Buck, Lyndon and Harlow, Richard (2019) Improvements in water intervention projects through product design methods. In: DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. E&PDE Ethics and Social Issues 1 . The Design Society University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. ISBN 978-1-912254-05-7

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At a 2018 community workshop for the EU Horizon 2020 WATERSPOUTT project in Chikwawa, Malawi, villagers discussed water collection from the Shire river. WATERSPOUTT aims to provide safe drinking water to sub-Saharan African communities. A consortium of EU and African researchers is carrying out a development programme based on Solar Disinfection (SoDis), making collected water safe to drink. The water in Chikwawa is polluted by upstream sewage and factory waste and rains that stir up dirt and bacteria. An analysis of global risk and the water divide (Ciampi 2012) suggested that a culture utilising science alone is insufficient when facing new problems, new solutions and appropriate innovation require experience and imagination for successful adoption. Water interventions typically arrive in a developing area with a technological solution without considering local people, environment or culture. As a result, projects can see trivial issues lead to their failure, or minimal cultural exploration lead to rejected solutions incompatible with local customs. The introduction of SoDis to Nepal's Kathmandu Valley in (Rainey & Harding 2005) had many issues, the community had insufficient space for water storage in the sunlight and the treatment was wrongly perceived to make the water less pure. The ideal solution may have been treating the water at source or by employing design methods to ensure a match for the users, their community and beliefs.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Product design, water treatment, solar disinfection, filtration, sustainability
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 11:20
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2019 09:28

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