Earlier this week, IBM shared a great deal of information with the world in regard to water. A book was published through our GIO effort, pages of content were published on IBM.com, we had announcements, videos, and more. In recent weeks, while IBM was preparing these materials, I began thinking about what aspect of this broad effort I would focus on for the podcast being released here today. As I worked through the preliminary materials, I was drawn to one particular subject among the many – water purification.
I knew that IBM had entered into the development of some very advanced water purification technology, but wanted to dig deeper into the global situation to learn more, and to share it with those interested through this podcast. I found a very complex story as I investigated, and some fascinating opinions along the way. I have tried my best to share as many as I could here with you.
I had found an obituary in the New York Times about a man named Ron Rivera, who was a part of an organization called Potters for Peace. He had devoted the last 10 years of his life to the creation and implementation of ceramic pot water filter technology for some of the people around the globe who needed clean drinking water the most and I found his story inspiring. I interviewed Peter Chartrand to gain insight into Mr. Rivera, the filter, and their organization. I spoke with Paul Bowen of the Coca-Cola company, who have been leading some very progressive water sustainability efforts for years. I spoke with Jeff Albert of The Aquaya Institute who share a deep passion for the urgent need for water programs around the world, and I spoke with Dr. Bob Allen of IBM who leads a team of polymer chemists working on a new solution to advance water purification technology.
Although there are a number of solutions in place on the ground and in the laboratory, and although a number of large organizations and governments have adopted responsible practices when dealing with water-based issues, more needs to be done. The flow of clean, plentiful water is as essential to our economy and society as it is to our planet. Let’s not take it for granted, and let’s all start managing it as the precious resource it is.