English Subtitles for Clean water: a right or a privilege? | Deepika Kurup | TEDxNorthHighSchool

Subtitles / Closed Captions - English


every summer my family and I travel across the world 3,000 miles away to the culturally diverse country of india know india is a country infamous for its scorching heat and humidity for me the only relief from this heat is to drink plenty of water now well in India my parents always remind me to only drink boiled or bottled water because I'm like in America where I can just open on the tap and get clean potable drinking water in India the water is often contaminated

so my family was always careful to make sure that the water we drink was safe however I soon realized that not everyone was fortunate enough to have the clean water we did see outside my grandparents house in the busy streets of India I could see people standing in long lines under the hot Sun to fill these buckets with tap water

I even saw children who looked the same age as me filling up these clear plastic bottles with dirty water from streams on the roadside watching these kids forced to drink water I thought was too dirty to touch changed my perspective of the world this unacceptable social injustice compelled me to find a solution to the world's water problem

so I wanted to learn why these kids lacked water a substance that is essential for life and I learned that we are facing a global water crisis while this may seem surprising as three-fourths of our planet is covered in water only two point five percent of that is fresh water and less than one percent of that is available for human consumption due to rising population industrial development and economic growth our demand for this fresh water

is increasing yet the world's water resources are rapidly depleting according to the world health organization seven hundred and eighty million people in the world lack access to clean water source countries in sub-saharan Africa and South Asia are especially vulnerable

given their air environments lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at the same rate as six jumbo jet crashes every day and UNICEF estimates that that's 3,000 children so in eighth grade when i started investigating the global water crisis I wanted to use my passion for science technology engineering and math or stem to help find a solution

so I converted my garage into my laboratory actually at first I had converted my kitchen into my laboratory but my parents didn't really approve i also started reading a lot of journal papers on past water related research and I learned that currently in many developing countries solar water disinfection or sodus has been used as a means of purifying water now so does is very energy efficient because it only uses solar energy for

water purification basically these clear plastic bottles are filled with the contaminated water and exposed to sunlight for six to eight hours the DNA of the harmful pathogens is destroyed by the powerful UV radiation coming from the Sun now while the sodas process is easy to use and requires little cost

it's often very slow so since the sodas process is slow a new technology called photocatalytic solar disinfection has been used to accelerate the sodas process so what is photocatalysis well photo means using the Sun and a catalyst is something that speeds up a reaction so what photocatalysis is doing is speeding up the solar disinfection

process but there are several disadvantages to the current photocatalytic solar disinfection methods you see traditionally the photocatalyst is coated on the inside of the plastic bottle and these photo catalysts are actually commonly used in sunscreens to block UV radiation

so when they're coated on the inside of bottles they're actually blocking some of the UV radiation and diminishing the efficiency of the process also these coatings are tightly bound to the plastic bottle so they wash off into the water which means people end up drinking the photocatalyst so I wanted to overcome these disadvantages of current treatment methods and create a safe sustainable fast and cost-effective means of purifying water so I developed

my pervious photocatalytic composite for water purification my composite combines filtration with photocatalysis first the water percolates through the composite filter which destroys ninety-eight percent of coliform bacteria then this water can be exposed to sunlight for one hundred percent Kohli form an activation in just 15 minutes now organics are another common contaminant of drinking water with severe health concerns so i used an organic indicator dye called

methylene blue which turns from blue to clear when degraded to show that my composite also degrades organics and unlike traditional photocatalytic solar disinfection methods which only use UV radiation or three percent of solar radiation reaching the earth my composite also uses visible light which is forty-four percent of solar radiation reaching the earth

so in the future I hope to deploy my composite in places where water is scarce now for the past three years I have been focusing my energy on finding a better way to purify water and raising awareness for the global water crisis but our world still faces numerous challenges according to the National Academy of Engineering

we must overcome 14 grand challenges in order to better our society in the coming century some of these include making solar energy more economical providing energy from fusion of course providing access to clean drinking water and even creating a virtual reality so in order to overcome these challenges I think it's imperative that more and

more young students get involved in pursuing their interests in science technology engineering and math stem and stein education are vital to building a better future but many are discouraged from pursuing their interests in step is you want to ask to envision a scientist the common stereotype most kids k through 12 think of is of a guy with a white lab coat to shovel hair big glasses and a bunch of

colorful beakers giving out big clouds of smoke as for adults the majority of you scientists as aloof secluded and recluse workaholics but you see these stereotypes and reality are actually pulls apart a scientist isn't someone who's slaves away in an isolated laboratory a scientist is someone who loves learning and gaining a better understanding of

the world when i started my research I didn't have access to a sophisticated lab or any high tech equipment instead i started building my prototype water purification system in my makeshift garage laboratory and in this age of the internet which we live in I realized I had access to an unlimited amount of information at my fingertips of course I'm not saying that this research has been easy but the point I'm

trying to make is that I didn't let my age or lack of fancy lab deter me from pursuing interests in scientific research and from following my passion solving the global water crisis see science isn't just plugging numbers into 2 into equations or just reading from textbooks science is fascinating science is awe-inspiring and science has the power to revolutionize the world students need to understand that age shouldn't be a barrier when it comes to

pursuing interests in scientific research you see they say that as kids we have so much potential and that the future is in the hands of our youth but what I've learned from pursuing interest in scientific research and speaking with other students who are passionate about solving global problems is that it's not just the future students can start to make a difference now

so even after all this my journey field continues because I strongly believe that access to clean water should not just be a privilege water isn't just the universal solvent water is a universal human right this water injustice faced by one-ninth of our population is a correctable one I know that while I alone can't solve this massive problem that by coming together and working towards the same goal of clean drinking water for all the

possibilities are endless so I'd like to end by saying that you don't have to be a genius in order to help tackle global problems just as Albert Einstein said you only have to be passionately curious and perhaps one of you can be solving a global problem in our world thank you

Video Description

Deepika presents her talk about the global water crisis and how she used science, technology, engineering and math to help find a solution to this pressing issue.

Deepika Kurup is an inventor, scientist and clean water advocate. She is the recipient of the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Award. Kurup was awarded the $25,000 Award, for her work in developing a new and inexpensive method to clean water using solar power. She also won the 2014, U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize with her project "A Novel Photocatalytic Pervious Composite for Degrading Organics and Inactivating Bacteria in Wastewater." The award included a cash prize of $10,000, and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden where she competed at the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize. In January 2015, Deepika was named as one of Forbe’s 2015 30 Under 30 in Energy.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx