"Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water and nearly 2 billion are without adequate sanitation. Over 2 million deaths a year are attributed to unsafe water, mostly due to waterborne diarrheal diseases. Ninety percent of those who die from diarrheal diseases are children in developing countries.
Whereas centralized systems have not been able to grow rapidly enough to serve rapidly growing urban populations, nor become economically feasible in rural areas, decentralized filtration technologies offer an alternative. We have investigated decentralized membrane-based water depots and point-of-use filtration technologies that can be used in developing countries to offer a short-term solution, while taking advantage of rapidly developing technologies. To determine their feasibility in these contexts, technologies need to be more than appropriate technically solutions; they need to work within the local economic contexts to reduce disease.
We have also carried out research to analyze the effectiveness of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions on reducing water borne diseases, and to determine which environmental indicators are most closely associated with the diseases. In addition, we monitored urban children to understand the associated reduction in diarrhea prevalence associated with consumption of water from decentralized membrane-based water refill stations."