Solar Waterpods Could Help Sahara Nomads Purify Salty Water

desalination, water purification, waterpod, sahara, nomad, desert, fresh drinking water, green design, sustainable design, nomad festival, moroccoA former sailor, Alain Thibault knows what it means to pine after fresh water, so he designed a portable desalination device that uses the sun’s power to make fresh drinking water.

What’s more, he and the rest of his team have introduced the technology to Sahara nomads, who frequently struggle to find water that isn’t inundated with salt. Called the Waterpod, the wooden box was recently demonstrated to a captive audience at the Nomadic Festival in M’Hamid El Ghizlane in southern Morocco.

Made with wood, cork, stainless steel and glass, Thibault’s Waterpod uses the sun’s power to promote evaporation and condensation – a small scale desalination instrument that was first developed by Arabs in the 16th century, according to Physorg.

solar water podsThis is an exciting device for the Sahara nomads, who frequently draw undrinkable brackish water from wells  – a situation exacerbated by a hydroelectric dam built 40 years ago in the Draa Valley to accommodate a growing population and Ourzazate tourists, according to the paper.

Albeit sufficiently lightweight for the nomadic people to carry with them, the $650 price tag is prohibitively high, so the inventors are teaching students at a college in Tiznit how to reproduce the technology at a lower cost.

If cared for properly, the letterbox Waterpod will convert 12 liters of brackish water into 6 liters of clean drinking water every day for up to 40 years.

Nourreddine Bourgab, who is President of the Nomad festival, told AFP that the Waterpod is an exemplary solution to the nomad’s dilemma of hitting salty wells. “It’s a technique that embodies the real meaning of sustainable development and protection of the environment,” he said.

While this isn’t the first time we have showcased simple water purification devices that would benefit just about anyone in our water-scarce region, the Waterpod does seem uniquely designed as a virtually indestructible tool that fits the lifestyle of Sahara nomads.

:: Physorg

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5 thoughts on “Solar Waterpods Could Help Sahara Nomads Purify Salty Water”

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  3. Michael Lehner says:

    At those salty wells, design a hands-off system to feed a tank. Something that can be left in place to work all the time.

    1. I like the idea, but without someone to maintain it regularly, that might not work…?

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