Nanotechnology and the water challenge

Nanotechnology and the water challenge


Global access to clean water has been challenging. A vast population in the world both in the developed and developing countries often find it hard to access potable water. The challenge has been triggered dramatically by poverty in the developing world. Poor people depend directly on the water and following natural resources, hence problems of diarrhea and cholera. It is therefore essential to manage these natural resources sustainably. Thus maintaining the socio-economic, and environmental functions will improve their livelihoods. With current technology, various methods have been invented, and nanotechnology has been recently developed to aid in curbing this problem.

Critiques and possible solutions

Different organizations are considering the utilization nanotechnology to solve the technical challenges potentially. These are in association with removal of water contaminants; therefore the provision of potable water to populations in the developed and developing states (Hillie, pg. 663). Various water-treatment devices incorporated with nanoscience are available in the market. Most of these are still on the development stage. Some of the conservative treatment technologies, but the nanotechnologies comprises of different types of membranes and filters by nano-porous ceramics, carbon nanotubes, and magnetic nanoparticles among other nanomaterials. Structured separation membranes at the nanoscale can be utilized in low-cost methods in the production of drinking water.

As of recent studies/research, polymeric reverse osmosis membranes, and nanofiltration have been tried for the treatment of brackish water. As per the tests, the nanofiltration membranes produced potable water from the saline groundwater (Hillie, pg. 663). Reverse osmosis membranes detached about 99% of all the solutes. However, there was a significant reduction of concentrations of essential nutrients below the WHO specifications, therefore necessary to spike the water product with those nutrients to the required quality.

From the technology, substantial triumphs in the provision of potable water have been made. However, it has encountered various challenges that need to be addressed profoundly for it to be operational. A simple physical observation cannot detect contaminated water. It is, therefore, crucial for the developers to create awareness to communities of the authentic water quality since the technology only cannot elucidate such problems. In developing states, it is relatively hard to incorporate this nanotechnology. This is because the technique requires sufficient infrastructure, technical capabilities, and a market for implementation. Developing countries have various socioeconomic problems; hence transferring the technology to them is restrained and the result is a failure. Developers should, therefore, take nanoscience to respective governments’ development policies for incorporation and enhancement.

Nanotechnologies have been found to have vast potential benefits of water-treatment devices. However, more research is essential for the assessment of its potential human health and environmental hazards. Studies have indicated that some properties of nanomaterials may lead to their toxicity (Hillie, pg. 663). It hence calls for joint research by various firms to ensure that the possible hazards have been analyzed and controlled. Nanotechnology is suitable and should be enhanced and utilized after ample research in multiple states. It will aid in water-treatment and therefore availing potable water in both the developing and developing countries for a safe and healthier world. It will require effective adaptation and strategies, solidly based on sharing knowledge and development of social aptitude. With all these things together the world will have potable water.



Work cited

Hillie, Thembela, and Mbhuti Hlophe. “Nanotechnology and the challenge of clean water.” Nature Nanotechnology 2.11 (2007): 663.

Hu, Anming, and Allen Apblett, eds. Nanotechnology for water treatment and purification. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2014.

Street, Anita, et al., eds. Nanotechnology applications for clean water: solutions for improving water quality. William Andrew, 2014.