A team of American scientists and designers have collaborated to create the drinkable book, using a combination of typography, nanotechnology and specially-designed filter paper.
Launched by communications group DDB New York for charity Water is Life, the Drinkable Book is a sanitation manual with pages that double as water filters to purify contaminated water.
It was created by researchers from American institutions Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Virginia.
The pages are coated with microscopic particles of silver. When water passes through, more than 99 percent of harmful bacteria—like cholera, E. coli and typhoid—are destroyed, and the resulting liquid is safe to drink.
Theresa Dankovich, a chemist, invented the paper.
The text, printed in food-quality ink, provides basic safety information, such as reminders to keep trash and feces away from water supplies.
The filter paper costs pennies to produce, and a single book can provide a person with drinkable water for up to four years.
Each book comes packed in a custom filter box that has a slot and fenestration for the pages. Slide one page of the book in, pour water over it, and get up to 5,000 liters of clean water.
The paper and chemicals needed to produce the book is cheaper than most other water-filtration mechanisms.
The team is planning to field test some form of the book later this year and are looking to have a commercially viable product ready for 2015.
If you would like to make a donation: WATERisLIFE.com/donate/