As a writer on global writer issues, I wasn’t quite sure what to do when my writing colleagues at EcoWorldly suggested that we all contribute to a series on bicycling.
Bikes and water: could the two really be related? To my pleasant surprise, they are indeed!
I learned about several organizations dedicated to providing people in developing nations with the means to get clean water through the use of bicycles.
One group from the Engineering for Developing Communities (EDC) program at the University of Colorado at Boulder developed a prototype of a human powered bicycle for pumping water in communities where electricity is unavailable. Their model was able to pump at a maximum of 18 feet below ground, at 2.5 gallons per minute. The specifics of their project is detailed here.
Another great organization I found online is the Working Bikes Cooperative, a Chicago-based nonprofit that takes old bikes and repairs them to donate to charities in Chicago, the Gulf Coast, Cuba, Guatemala, Ecuador, and other places of need. The primary purpose of the donated bikes are to provide affordable and healthy transportation to people from underdeveloped nations, but other bicycles are used to create water filtration systems in communities plagued with unsanitary water.
I also found a company called McEdwards Manufacturing and Distribution, Inc. that sells a “Third World Water Pump” setup, which supposedly can pump clean water from wells with depths of 200 feet or more.
And here’s a quite informative and inspiring video on a pedal-powered water transportation and filtration vehicle created by a San Bruno, California team which won Google’s “Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine Challenge” this year:
The neat-looking bike filters the water as you bike from point A to point B.
What a concept! I’d love to get my hands, and legs, on one of those!
Other Articles in Ecolocalizer’s Bicycling Series
- Forget Sky-high Gas Prices, Biking Beats Them All! by Sam Aola Ooko
- UK: Bike Week 2008 by Pem Charnley
- Bicycle powered water pumps and filtration systems by Nayelli Gonzalez
- Italy’s Two-Wheeled Cities Speed Up Your Life Quality by Eva Pratesi
- In Chiang Mai, Social Attitudes Crush Bicycling Prospects by Masimba Biriwasha
- Google’s Sexy Bicycle Giveaways and Africa’s Versatile Bike Trucks by Sam Aola Ooko
- South Korean Bicycle Ninjas Do Battle Against Asthma by Gavin Hudson
- Of Course Cycling in Australia is Healthy, But What To Do With the Cars? by Ross Kendall
- Cheer up! Bicycling in Italy is a Daily Adventure by Eva Pratesi
- If You Want a Blissful Sex Life, Don’t Ride a Bike! by Sam Aola Ooko
- Bicycling in Peru: An Art of Adaptation by Levi Novey
Photo: Working Bikes Cooperative