Families in the municipalities of Caetés, C., New, Capoeiras and Venturosa, in Pernambuco, need to move about five hundred to two thousand meters away to have access to a basic item, essential to human life: the water. When they can't do this collection, even with the situation of vulnerability they face, the option is to pay for gallons of up to 12 thousand liters transported by water tankers, because those distributed by the government cannot meet all the needs.
This problem does not only affect the municipalities of Pernambuco. According to information from Agência Brasil, the country faces the worst water crisis on record in recent years 91 years, osame by several factors, such as the unpredictability of rainfall and the absence of water collection and storage technologies. The Echosocial programme – Winds Transforming, developed by Echoenergia, with the support of the National Development Bank, BNDES, tries to change the reality of residents staying in the vicinity of echoenergia's wind farm, with the construction of 126 plate tanks in the territory and installation of the Aqualuz – technology aimed at purifying water for human consumption. So far, 70 devices have been installed in the tanks.
The Aqualuz is a technology of the northeastern startup SDW, which has already been awarded and recognized even by the UN. All work is performed by the Local Economic Development Agency, Adel. "The cisterns will benefit a total of thirteen communities. With the action, we will universalize access to drinking water to all low-income families in the surrounding countryside; a fairly extensive territory, but that it still had no water reservoir", explains the Adel's New Business Director, Wagner Gomes.
Drinking water through the sun
The world's first equipment focused on potabilize the water from cisterns through the sun, Aqualuz is a simple and easy-to-handle technology. The Adel, as the executing entity of the program, brought the SDW to work together with the families to disinfect the water from the cisterns.
Water potabilization is carried out in the storage phase, after filtration, where water is exposed to the sun. At this stage, solar radiation and high temperature act in such a way as to disable the DNA of pathogens present in water, making it drinkable. The technology used acts in order to eliminate the microorganisms present in, not being able to treat waters with chemical contamination.
Aqualuz is a device developed specifically for the context of the semi-arid northeastern in order to apply the methodology of the SODIS (acronym for Solar Water Purification) considering cultural and socioeconomic aspects of the local population. It is constituted by a stainless steel reservoir 304 with d’water 5 Inches, glass cover coupled to a physical filter to reduce turbidity, which can be exchanged for various materials present in the day to day of the family as, for example, pieces of cotton cloth. Its operation is very simple, user installs filter on cistern pump, pump water, that goes to the main reservoir and is stowed in direct exposure to the sun until the thermally sensitive indicator changes color and the user can remove the water.
Five young people from the beneficiary municipalities have already received a training workshop to understand how the deployment of social technologies aimed at capturing, storage, management and treatment of water resources. "I was impressed, because who could imagine that water could be treated naturally, with one thing that we have so much: the sun?", reports farmer Edson Costa, of 24 years. He participated in the workshop and benefited from a cistern and an Aqualuz near his residence.