Swedish company Solvatten recently began distributing its user-friendly solar water sterilization jug in countries like drought-afflicted Somalia. The device disinfects up to 10 liters of water in two or more hours, depending on conditions. To use it, you just fill the jug, open it like a book right down the middle and place it in the sun. Clear plastic panels expose microbes in the water to UV rays while the black plastic interior absorbs radiation to heat the water. You’ll know the water is ready to drink when you see a smiley face on the jug’s heat sensor. Since people often cook over wood fires in rural developing regions and this device cuts out the need to boil untreated water, it can also reduce deforestation, improve indoor air quality, and even save lives.


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