HTI Water Humanitarian Water

Humanitarian Water: Environmental Impact

Environmental ImpactMeeting the hydration needs of a population in the wake of a natural disaster or civil disturbance is one of the critical first steps of any response plan.

Disasters frequently cause a low number of initial deaths, but a large number of displaced persons in desperate need of shelter, food and water. Water requirements are extremely time sensitive; a delayed or inadequate delivery of safe water solutions inevitably and quickly leads to a deteriorating health situation and even death.

This sense of urgency has led to an increased reliance on bottled water as a response strategy. In the wake of large-scale disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in SE Asia, millions of bottles have been distributed across the disaster zones, leaving behind mountains of waste that will take thousands of years to degrade. Burning these polyethelene bottles releases dangerous pollutants into the air, as do the helicopters and trucks required to deliver the water.

Point-of-use technologies such as HTI’s forward osmosis filtration systems can eliminate or minimize the volume of left-behind waste while still delivering safe hydration in a timely manner. And by not transporting tons of water by truck or helicopter, tons of pollutants are kept out of the air. Forward Osmosis emergency water technology keeps both the disaster victim and their environment healthy.