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Use less water, producing energy and fertilizer at the same time
Date:4/18/2012

Clean drinking water and basic sanitation are human rights. Yet almost 780 million of the world's population still have no access to drinking water and some 2.6 billion people live without sanitary facilities. Water, though, is also an important economic factor: Today, agricultural and manufacturing businesses already use up more than four fifths of this precious commodity. And the demand for water continues to rise. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is expecting that by 2050, global water consumption will have risen by more than half. Some 40 percent of the world's population will then be living in regions with extreme water shortages - 2.3 billion people more than today.

We have, to date, been wasteful in our use of this valuable resource. In Germany, each and every individual consumes around 120 liters of water per day - they drink only three. Another third is flushed down the toilet. But in some regions of the world, clean water is much too precious to be wasted transporting excrement. New technologies are allowing us to significantly reduce drinking water consumption, purify wastewater effectively and even recover biogas and fertilizer. The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and System and Innovation Research ISI have developed the solutions as part of the DEUS Decentral Urban Water Infrastructure Systems" project.

Treatment of rainwater

Not all water has to be drinking quality - for watering the garden or flushing the toilet, for instance. Using rainwater and treated wash water for personal needs pays off, especially in arid regions. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a modern water treatment plant for this very purpose. It produces germ-free, usable water that satisfies the requirements of the German Drinking Water Regulation (TVO). The treated rainwater can be used for showering, washing, flushing the toilet and watering the gard
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Contact: Dieter Bryniok
dieter.bryniok@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4211
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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