Sushanta Mitra, lead author, mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at the University of Waterloo, and executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

“There are a lot of sensors that have been made, a lot of reliable sensors which work really well independently; however, the decision-making always requires a human,” said Ajit Khosla, sensors technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) and chair of The Electrochemical Society’s Sensor Division. Which is why the paper, “Artificial Intelligence Based Mobile Application for Water Quality Monitoring” piqued Khosla’s interest in particular.

“AI powered sensors are the future.”

“This is the first time that we have received and accepted a journal paper which involves artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, water quality management, and sensors,” said Khosla. “This work represents an example of one of those initial steps towards a smart technology driven sustainable society where data acquired by sensors helps AI make human-like decisions or human-like operations. Quantum sensors, quantum computing, and AI will transform the way we live and will play an integral role in achieving sustainability and a sustainable world. AI powered sensors are the future.” (more…)

XPRIZE hands the Skysource/Skywater Alliance their $1.75M prize.
Photo Credit: XPRIZE

It’s not unheard of for fundamental human necessities—shelter, food, and water—to not be met in certain parts of the world. Whether a result of poverty, political turmoil, geography, limited resources, or all of the above, it remains a struggle for many. However, a team of sustainability experts in California may be closer to solving one of those problems.

According to CNN, the team known as the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, have developed machines that can make gallons of fresh drinking water right out of thin air. These machines, dubbed Skywater, can make up to 300 gallons of fresh drinking water a day from thin air—to add some perspective to the magnitude of their invention. (more…)

(Learn more about corrosion science and technology, visit us at AiMES 2018 in Cancun, Mexico from September 30 – October 4, 2018.)

Gerald Frankel

Gerald Frankel, a technical editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, corrosion expert, and open access advocate.

The aftereffects of the Flint water crisis is still felt strongly four years later. Just this year, dozens of Flint, Michigan, residents were outraged by the state’s decision to end a free bottled water program. A program that came into effect after it was discovered the water in Flint was unsafe for consumption.

The catastrophe came to fruition when measures were taken by elected officials to cut costs. The result of which led to tainted drinking water that contained lead and other toxins.

Gerald Frankel, a professor of materials science and engineering at The Ohio State University, touched on the matter in an ECS Podcast interview.

“It was avoidable,” says Frankel, who explained that because water is corrosive, drinking water is treated to reduce the corrosive effects on the pipes that carry it. However, due to financial issues the town of Flint was facing, their source of the water changed from Lake Michigan to the Flint River. “And they decided not to do this chemical treatment.”

(more…)

Harvard students test the flow rate from one of the newly installed tap stands.Credit: Christopher Lombardo

Harvard students test the flow rate from one of the newly installed tap stands.
Credit: Christopher Lombardo

A group of students from Harvard have been working to help restore clean water to the rural town of Pinalito in the Dominican Republic. Now, for the first time in a long time, the water in Pinalito is clean again.

This from Harvard Gazette:

For the past 2½ years, students in the Harvard University chapter of Engineers Without Borders have been rehabilitating and improving a potable water system in the rural town in the Dominican Republic. After the most recent visit, the students returned to campus in late August having successfully worked with the community to upgrade the water quality and distribution system.

Read the full article here.

The residents now have clean water – something that wasn’t available prior due to the failed well built by a government contractor. The well installed by the Harvard students can produce 27 gallons a minute, according to Christopher Lombardo – assistant director for undergraduate studies in engineering sciences at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

During their time in Pinalito, the students made sure to integrate the community into the design and building of the well in order to combat skepticism and foster relationships.

Not only does this experience provide the rural town with clean water, but it also shows the students that there are many other perspective they’ll need to consider when they go further in the field of engineering, and they won’t always have access to a state-of-the-art lab.

At ECS, we’re also joining the fight to provide clean water though innovation and research to those in need. We are in Cancun right now working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to find and fund new research to combat some of the world’s most serious water and sanitation issues.

Stay connected with us to see the grant winners and their solutions to bridge the critical technology gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges being faced around the world.

Matt Damon

Damon opts to use toilet water in lieu of fresh H2O for his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Like many other celebrities, Matt Damon has decided to do his part and participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Though, the award-winning actor and humanitarian was a bit conflicted about wasting a bucket of clean water.

His solution? Use toilet water, of course.

“It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there’s a drought here in California,” Damon explained in his video, “but because I co-founded Water.org, and we envision the day when everybody has access to clean drinking water – and there are about 800 million people in the world who don’t – and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy.”

According to Water.org, there are about 2.4 billion people globally who still lack access to clean sanitation systems. Through his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Damon saw a way to not only contribute to a good cause – but also educate about the very important global issue of sanitation.

“For those of you like my wife who think this is really disgusting, keep in mind that the water in our toilets in the West is actually cleaner than the water that most people in the developing world have access too.”

ECS is also focusing on the global issue of sanitation by partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the 4th International Electrochemical Energy Summit. By distributing over $200,000 in funding, ECS hopes to empower researchers and bolster innovate research. Join us in Cancun, October 5-9, to take part in this multi-day workshop.