Readers, we have a problem, and thankfully the makings of a solution. Today, nearly 800 million people around the world live without access to clean drinking water. Each year, 6-8 million people die from waterborne diseases. Enter the Faircap project.

Faircap lab - MICHAEL FLOYD

Faircap’s mission is to provide clean drinking water for everyone, and their open source 3D printed water filter is a great start. The filters are cheap to produce, and screw onto the mouths of standard PET water jugs, allowing people to use materials they have on hand.


Check out the Faircap build on Instructables, download the STL files to print the filter casing, and learn how to make your own activated carbon filter from plain old campfire charcoal and salt! To get rid of pathogens, Faircap proposes 2 different approaches. Faircap’s design currently relies on off-the-shelf ultrafiltration cartridges to remove viruses and bacteria. Alternately, Faircap suggests leaving filtered water in direct sunlight for several hours to kill off germs. The sunlight technique can be effective when done correctly, but the ultrafiltration cartridges tend to be consistently reliable and safe.

Faircap printing - BILAL GHALIB

So here’s a challenge: off-the-shelf ultrafiltration technology is not always accessible. This is the main bottleneck (no pun intended) in making clean water cheap for everyone. The project’s team is on the lookout for an open source/ DIY solution that can achieve the same result. Population growth and regional water shortages, often linked to climate change, are making the clean water crisis even more dire. The stakes are high, and the situation is ripe for a DIY solution.

Faircap filtering - MICHAEL FLOYD

This is one of the many cool projects to come out of the POC21 conference where 100 eco-hackers gathered in a French castle to brainstorm ways to improve the world.