Assuming you stayed relatively sane on New Year’s Eve, you probably going to woke up the next day feeling optimistic, ready to start the new year with a clean slate. Maybe resolve to lace up the sneakers, or lay off the carbs. Or take it bigger and tackle a problem beyond yourself by investing in some game-changing eco-tech.
Consider the Desolenator, which creates safe drinking water from sunshine. Invest a few bucks and help thirsty people toast in 2015 with a glass of clean water.
Utility-scale desalination systems are energy intensive, making them expensive to operate and maintain. They are also major producers of carbon emissions and brine, its primary byproduct, is toxic to aquatic ecosystems. Desolenator is a portable solar-powered water desalination system that makes any type of water – even seawater! – drinkable.
Created by Abu-Dhabi-based William Janssen, Desolenator offers an affordable and easy-to-use method of water purification that does not rely on a power grid.
According to the United Nations Water GLAAS 2014 Report, 748 million people lack access to safe drinking water and an estimated 1.8 billion people use water sources contaminated with bacteria and feces. Providing adequate supplies of safe drinking water will radically improve sanitation and hygiene, particularly for poor people in remote areas not served by utility infrastructure. This would also aid in achieving the Millennium Development Goals to improve maternal health and curb the spread of infectious diseases.
This ingenious gizmo produces up to 15 liters of clean water daily, requires no ancillary parts, and lasts up to 20 years. Priced at $450, the unit will desalinate water at a lower cost per liter than any system at this scale available on the market today.
Currently at prototype stage, it’s been awarded a place on the European Union-funded Climate-KIC Accelerator program, incubated at Imperial College London. Its current fundraising campaign on Indiegogo (link here) aims to accelerate development for mass production. Fundraising closes in two weeks – so act now if this project aligns with your new year’s resolutions.
The developers suggest that the units are ideal for millions of people living in developing countries who have limited or no access to clean water supplies. They can also be useful for campers, sailors, and emergency applications construction or extreme weather events interrupt urban water delivery systems.
With billions of people going thirsty and others becoming ill from polluted water, clean water looms large as the challenge of this century. A portfolio of emerging technologies that wick water from the air via billboards or sculptural baskets, and personal-desalination units like this one, will help make sure that the future doesn’t have to be about wars fought over water, a risk for much of the Middle East.
Pour yourself a glass of water, and raise a glass to projects like Desolenator.
All images from the Desolenator website