This Sunday marks the United Nations’ World Water Day, an international campaign to higlight the importance of clean water.
And while we in Bedford are being encouraged to use less water about the home, a team of Phd students are working on creating a toilet for areas where there is no water.
The Cranfield University team, led by Dr Alison Parker, have invented a self-powering toilet which produces pure water from human waste.
The toilet, which looks like a traditional Western loo, separates water from waste via a nano-membrane, which only lets water molecules through.
The solids which remain, are then burnt to provide energy for the system.
A university spokeswoman said: “The project was born after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation set the challenge to reinvent the toilet, to help the 2.5billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe sanitation.
“The team received stage one funding to develop the idea, and have been recently granted stage two funding.
“They hope to trial the loos next year, which are also ideal for people who live off grid, such as in yachts or outdoor concerts.”
This year’s World Water Day theme is water and sustainable development.
Access to clean water is essential for many issues including health, industry, nature, food and energy.
Bedford Borough Council will support the day by holding an information stand in the Howard Centre on Wednesday, March 25, from 9am-3pm.
With about 25 per cent of household energy bills being to heat water, staff will be on hand with tips and advice on how to be more efficient with water and save money.