Gallery: Aquaduct Bike Purifies Water as you Pedal


This year’s West Coast Green was host to a dizzying array of innovative ideas, not the least of which was the Aquaduct Concept Vehicle by IDEO. Winner of the ’08 Innovate or Die competition sponsored by Google and Specialized, the Aquaduct is “a pedal-powered concept vehicle that transports, filters, and stores water.” Pedal to the well, fill up the tank and by the time you’re home you have 8 liters of purified water.

Safe and secure sources of drinking water are a growing worldwide concern. According to the W.H.O., “1.1 billion people have no access to any type of improved drinking source of water.” As a result, a growing number of health issues face developing countries such as diarrhoeal disease, schistosom`iasis, trachoma, intestinal helminths (ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm) and hepatitis A.

The Aquaduct is designed to address all these issues and more. It works by using a pedal-driven peristaltic pump to drive water from its trunk through a filter into a clean tank. The bike can carry enough water for an entire family, and can filter while moving or stationary.

In its present configuration it is not a feasible solution for most developing communities due to production costs and durability. But in fairness to the IDEO team, they have stated that, “In its current state, the Aquaduct is a prototype aimed squarely at demonstrating a concept and raising awareness around the issues of clean water in developing countries. The Aquaduct team plans to continue the concept’s development into an economically and technologically viable solution that addresses challenges such as cost, suitable purification technologies, and the logistics of addressing an issue that [affects] billions.”

In the face of this growing crisis, IDEO has managed to design an innovative and elegant tool to aid in the struggle for safe and secure drinking water. With a little luck, and some help from groups on the ground in targeted locations, the Aquaduct might just find a place in the fight for healthy, sustainable living conditions in the developing world. We wish them the best of luck!

+ Aquaduct



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  1. hannahspanner February 7, 2012 at 5:20 am

    i think it is an awesomw idea and everybody should get on because it would help the world alot and keep you healthy. it would also provide almost all of the people in the world with clean, fresh and healthy water to drink!
    i want to get one!!!
    how much are they???!!!

  2. bkmaharana April 6, 2011 at 6:11 am

    The design is excellent, but I think it can be modified to get other resources also. I think, if we slightly modify the present design, it can generate energy, water, electricity, food preparation and can be used for drying of items and atlast it can be used for simply transportation also. Here the main concern is the cost, that can be reduced by using different production techniques. I am looking forward to use this in near future, so I appeal to Juntha to develop it for this poor earth, which is at the threshold of the destruction.

  3. teamilkhoney April 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I really think it is a really good idea provide transport,clean water and exercise. If you can get an association to fund it, that would be great. I live in Morocco and I would like to be more greener. I recycle almost everything possible but, water I have had to buy bottled water. I would love to buy this bike at a very low price.

  4. suprio October 11, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Great idea, but how does it get rid of the bacteria? I guess a filter will not eliminate the bacteria that are responsible for most diarrheal deseases. Would be interested to know.

  5. leighrate October 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    As a concept this has much to recommend it. Filter cost\’s would drop if mass produced. It\’s called economy of scale. Also there is no reason why a production model would resemble the design prototype. The important bit is the filter unit.The design team might want to consider pre-filtering the water in a method maintainable out of local resourses. Sand or charcoal perhaps.

  6. spatialdrift October 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    It’s like the designer has never ridden a bike before! Great idea, but get the tank off of the steering assembly, unless it is intended to have steering that is affected by gallons of water sloshing around.

  7. mpemburn October 9, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Great idea! It would be greatly improved by having some sort of gearing for those of us who live in hilly terrain.

  8. October 9, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Everything nice! But what about FILTERS!! Would some villager in the middle of nowhere in Africa be able to buy NEW Filter?! Ha? Haha… :)

  9. TaleWeaver October 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Great idea to address the important issue of potable water in developing countries. However at present this is a monofunctional device. I suggest you modify the design to allow the water storage tank to be lifted out of the back so that it can be also be used to transport goods e.g. food, fuel, small livestock, manufactured goods etc. This would greatly extend the functionality of the vehicle. It would be a good idea to also create an Aqueduct module that can be fitted onto most tricycles? Few people in the third world can afford a separate vehicle just to tranport and purify water.

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