6 civil engineering technologies that can bring clean water to Africa

Even in the traditionally rural African continent, the urban population of cities is growing enormously. And in this particular area, this presented some challenges for civil engineering – more specifically, in the case of providing sufficient levels of clean water. And in this article, we’ll explore some of the newest technologies for civil engineering that could help overcome such obstacles.

The desalination process

One of the most popular theories on how engineering can help with water shortages is the ubiquitous idea of ​​desalination. In 2021, we have more ways than ever to treat saline water and treat it in a way that produces clean drinking water – all of which are collectively referred to as “desalination”. It should be noted that solar desalination appears to be one of the most viable solutions for Africa – along with distillation plants based on vapor compression.

But in its essence, the simplest version of this process is to distill water and collect the water vapor that comes after the vapor. This has been viable since the 1960s, with varying degrees of cost effectiveness and complexity.

Irrigation in agriculture

When it comes to water use and scarcity, it’s always important to see where most of the demand is before focusing on supply. And as you may have guessed, agricultural industries across the continent absorb the majority of water use on an annual basis. As a result, communities find it difficult to balance their water supplies when the needs of the public conflict with those of the agricultural industry.

Fortunately, civil engineers have developed smart farming methods that allow better management of water resources; thus preventing communities from mismanaging their clean water with complex algorithms for soil moisture monitoring.


In communities where public infrastructure is not up to modern urban standards, it is sometimes difficult to find the best way to dispose of human sewage. Naturally, this process is extremely important for a number of reasons – from virulent toxins, harmful chemicals to dangerous bacteria that all reside in sewage.

Fortunately, civil engineering technology today not only makes it easier to dispose of wastewater in rural areas; you can basically convert that water into perfectly clean drinking water!

Water Purifying Sachet

As you can see, sewage is an extremely deadly problem for deaths in underdeveloped and developing countries. The result is a race to develop the most cost-effective and viable solution to help countries tackle this problem at the lowest cost. One of today’s best solutions in civil engineering are sachets – powder mixes specifically formulated to remove dangerous microorganisms from water that would otherwise remain contaminated.

These sachets can be incredibly powerful – for example, one unit of powder is potentially capable of purifying 10 liters of contaminated water into completely usable, potable water!

Tablets for water purification

You might have guessed it already from the previous entry on our list, but water purification tablets work pretty much the same as the sachets mentioned above. If you take these tablets and apply them to contaminated water, they can kill microorganisms like viruses or bacteria that could be extremely dangerous to humans. The chlorine dioxide, iodine, and chlorine in these tablets do their job incredibly well.

Best of all, after the water is cleaned off, there is no additional procedure for removing chlorine – leaving enough time after removing the lid from the container, the substance will simply evaporate and be removed.

Decentralization of distillation units

Normally, centralized water dispersal systems connect the homes of all citizens in a given area to the main pipe, the one that leads to the main water source. And in an area where there is a lot of potable water, this is probably the most efficient system. However, if we are talking about water-deprived regions like Africa, local infrastructure must be adapted to these different conditions.

With this in mind, decentralized water distillation units make it much easier to deal with maintenance issues, as individual issues do not necessarily affect the entire network.


As is evident, civil engineering technologies in Africa can look to the future in several ways; all that is needed is to provide the right analyzes of the most optimal techniques first in the right communities. But it is certain that advancements in construction technologies will make life much easier for residents in the near future. We hope you found this article helpful and learned something new about it. Make sure you stay safe these times we are going through and have fun, guys!

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