Drinkable Book - pouring water

Many books have been said to change lives, but this is one that can literally change – and save – the lives of millions of people. Although water is necessary for life, a shocking number of humans do not have access to clean, non-contaminated water. In the developing world, more than three million people die annually of causes related to poor sanitation and hygiene. Design group DDB New York, in cooperation with WATERisLIFE, wants to throw the book at that number.

Drinkable book - tearing off sheet

The book in this case is called The Drinkable Book, and it is half safe water instructions and half functional water filter. Each book contains 24 pages, each of which consists of two water filters. The filters are impregnated with silver nanoparticles – a substance that is deadly to bacteria but harmless to humans in small amounts. They are also printed with instructions, tips, and information about water contamination.

Drinkable Book - filter paper

Drinkable book from above

To use the filter, all that you have to do is tear off half of a page and put it into the book’s casing, a 3D printed box. When you pour contaminated water through the filter, the contaminants are killed and you are left with safe, clean drinking water. Each filter is good for 30 days, meaning that every book can provide four years of safe water for one person.

“It’s the first ever manual that provides safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education — all in one! Each page is a literal water filter inscribed with hygiene and sanitation education. We’re in the process of producing the book in different languages with varying teaching methods to enhance the educational aspect.”

“Each book can provide a user with clean water for up to four years. WATERisLIFE has introduced a campaign to move into full production of The Drinkable Book™. With your help, we can implement the books as a part of our WASH approach, as well as make the books available for global partner distribution. “