In an ideal world, we would not need to tap into our aquifers, but this is not the case, especially with the changing weather patterns due to global warming and the resources required for desalination with current technology, not to mention, the necessity of an ocean. For this reason, aquifers are a critical component in delivering reliable supplies of water, especially in countries like Africa, where water from streams or lakes is often polluted or located far away from home.
One of the most common ways to tap into an aquifer, is through the installation of a well. In many parts of the developed world, wells are accessed through mechanical pumps that are powered using electricity, making the process literally as easy as turning the faucet. For the majority of people, electricity is still expensive and in short supply. In these areas, manual pumping is still a necessity. Fortunately, there are many creative, and even fun approaches to removing water from the ground for household use. One of the most interesting methods is using playground toys as the mechanism that drives the mechanical pumping system and fills the water storage chamber. This is great especially since the inherent isolation and lack of technical support available in many of these areas could be problematic in the failure of an electrical system.