With cutting-edge nanotech, Michael Pritchard's Lifesaver water-purification bottle could revolutionize water-delivery systems in disaster-stricken areas around the globe.

Why you should listen

During the twin tragedies of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, Ipswich water-treatment expert Michael Pritchard winced helplessly at televised coverage of throngs of refugees waiting for days for a simple drink of clean water. Stricken by the chronic failure of aid agencies to surmount this basic challenge, Pritchard decided to do something about it.

Using a non-chemical nano-filtration hollow fiber membrane with 15 nanometer pores (it is designed to block viruses), the Lifesaver bottle can make the most revolting swamp water drinkable in seconds. Better still, a single long-lasting filter can clean 6,000 liters of water. Given the astronomical cost of shipping water to disaster areas, Pritchard's Lifesaver bottle could turn traditional aid models on their heads.

What others say

"On the outside, it looks like an ordinary sports bottle. On the inside, there's a miracle: an extremely advanced filtration system that makes murky water filled with deadly viruses and bacteria completely clean in just seconds." — Allison Barrie, FoxNews.com

Michael Pritchard’s TED talks

Michael Pritchard on the TED Blog
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Since the Talk

Michael Pritchard on how he’s helping end water poverty in Malaysia

July 10, 2013

Michael Pritchard is very likely the only person to have stood on the TED stage and uttered the immortal phrase, “Let’s get a bit of that poo in there.” At TEDGlobal 2009 in Oxford, he demonstrated his then-new product, the Lifesaver bottle, which can be used to turn filthy, rabbit-dropping-infested water into sparklingly clean liquid […]

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Planet Green's top 5 eco TEDTalks

May 28, 2010

The US cable channel Planet Green counts down their five favorite eco TEDTalks — with some great big visions to save the planet and the people on it. Some old favorites and some you might have missed. Watch the short video roundup linked above, and watch Planet Green’s five top eco TEDTalks right here: Paul […]

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The week in comments

August 8, 2009

The reception for this past wave of talks from TED Global 2009 centers around the theme of accountability. People seemed especially moved by Emmanuel Jal’s music on his life as a war child and Michael Pritchard’s revolutionary water filter. We even got a TEDGlobal speaker sparking a discussion on one of these highlighted talks (in […]

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