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Clean Water is the Best Prophylactic

February 11, 2012, 12:00 AM

"The most fecund population on the planet is the rural poor," Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler observe in their recent book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. Demographers have found alarming birth rates in the developing world, and it is linked to what Diamandis and Kotler call the "heartbreaking" logic: 

Three boys are desirable because one will probably die, the second will stay home to tend the farm; both providing for parents as they age and making enough money to send the third child to school so he can get a better job and end this cycle.

The cycle will not end as long as 2.2 million children are dying each year from drinking contaminated water. Enter Dean Kamen and his Slingshot, a $1,500 water purifying device that generates 1,000 liters of water a day. 

As Diamandis and Kotler write, "Beyond being a water purifier, the Slingshot is an extremely well-targeted family planning device: a prophylactic disguised as a drinking fountain."

Watch Kamen describe his invention here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter: @DanielHonan


Clean Water is the Best Pro...

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