After a visit to Honduras to investigate water-development projects, Cornell professor Monroe Weber-Shirk committed himself to providing potable water to as many people as he could. One year later, in 2005, Weber-Shirk founded AguaClara and in 2006 the first AguaClara plant was successfully implemented in Ojojona, Honduras. AguaClara utilizes a five-step purification process: grit removal and flow, chemical dosing, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration. The Director of Planning and Development at AguaClara, Chuck Brown, explains that the process is not only about the product that filters the water but also the communities that employ the water.
“We endeavored to take a process that was still far too complex and make it simple in more absolute terms—something that could work in a broad range of communities with limited resources, including education. That’s why we like to emphasize that not only are our plants powered by gravity, but you only need the equivalent of a sixth-grade education to operate them.”
Currently, there are 10 plants in Honduras providing more than 42,000 people with water. AguaClara is now setting its sights on India, which Brown describes as the “…the apex of the world’s water and sanitation problems.” Read more about AguaClara’s methods of sustainable and low cost water filtration on Line//Shape//Space here.
Image courtesy of AguaClara