Sunday, 22 March 2015

Why does The Ghana Water Company Limited Not Partner Michael W. Pritchard's LIFESAVER Systems?

Yesterday was World Water Day. Alas, like millions of homes across Ghana, the taps in the house where I live, were dry, on the day.  Pity.

58 years after gaining our independence, the lack of regularly available treated water, is hard to accept,  in 21st century Ghana.

As a matter of fact, we have not had any water from the distribution pipeline network of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), flowing through our taps, for three solid days now.

Yet, we are luckier where we live than most families in Accra - as we do  have treated water from the GWCL almost daily: living as we do  just a few kilometres from its main water treatment plant at Weija, in a part of McCarthy Hill just about 200 metres or so off the path of its main distribution pipeline to the centre of Accra.

Still, it is an intolerable and unacceptable situation, in this day and age.

In a nation whose diverse traditional cultures and educational system neither encourage original thinking, nor cultivate a sense of curiosity, in children and young people, it is not surprising that despite complaining about the ever-increasing cost of treating water, the GWCL's management does not actively seek new, less expensive and cost-effective ways of treating water.

Fortunately, there actually is a past example in Ghana, of  creative thinking in action in the production of potable water:  the 5-town experiment in which Coca-Cola sponsored the inventor Dean Kamen, to  produce pure and safe water by evaporation in 5 towns in Ghana, using his invention, 'Slingshot".

Slingshot produces its own electricity from biomass feedstock, as part of the process of producing potable water by evaporation - and can produce safe water from even contaminated sources. And from  sea water, too, incidentally - which would be beneficial to rural communities along our coastline.

It is perfect for producing potable water in cost-effective fashion in a cash-strapped nation experiencing a power crisis. Surely, the GWCL could take a second look at the impact made by this all-important experiment, cost-wise?

The GWCL could also adopt the use of  nano-technology filtration systems.

With illegal gold miners polluting most of the rivers and water bodies that the GWCL relies on across the country with toxic chemicals and heavy metals, it is vital, from a public health standpoint, to ensure that the water the GWCL supplies the public with, throughout the nation, is actually safe to drink and meets global standards.

Yet, if the GWCL is to lower the cost of producing water, one of the measures it needs to take, is to decrease the amount of imported chemicals it uses to purify water.

The question then is: if the chemicals it uses cannot remove heavy metals, for example, why does the GWCL not rely more on purifying water using a combination of Dean Kamen's Slingshot's evaporation method and nano-technology filtration, to enable it  remove those health-damaging heavy metals and toxic chemicals, as well as other contaminants?

The nano-tech filtration could be  deployed both in its large distribution pipelines, and at the point where water is delivered to the premises of its customers, from its distribution pipeline network.

Already familiar with Dean Kamen's Slingshot, surely, a public private partnership (PPP) with a reputable global leader in nano-tech water filtration, such as LIFESAVER Systems, of the UK, would be beneficial to the GWCL, and to water users across the country, too?

Such a partnership, could enable the GWCL to work with Michael W. Pritchard, the inventor and founder of LIFESAVER Systems, to develop in-situ replaceable large pipeline  filtration systems - and smaller ones for use  at the point just past the meter where treated water from its distribution pipeline network is piped into customers' premises.

Will that not help eliminate pipeline contamination, including that arising from damaged and newly-repaired sections of the distribution pipeline network, for instance?

Above all, a partnership with LIFESAVER Systems, would make its different water filtration products readily available in Ghana - and ensure that all water users in both rural and urban Ghana can have safe water to drink: even if it is sourced directly from contaminated water.

Naturally, it will also earn the GWCL a commission, each time one is sold here.

A partnership with Michael W. Pritchard's LIFESAVER Systems will be a real boon for the GWCL - and for water users nationwide.





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