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Fresh Water for Seaside Communities this Christmas

(c) Desolenator
(c) Desolenator

Probably one of the most frustrating situations to be in is being marooned on an island in the middle of the ocean without fresh water.  That is why the ancient mariner says, “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”

It’s a worse feeling than being in the middle of the desert, because according to America, “In the desert you can remember your name.” Kidding aside, while a drought in Africa  inspired the first Live Aid, it’s the drought in island communities that inspired the group behind Desolenator.

There are many ways of turning dirty or sea water into potable water, but they are either energy intensive or have low yield.  The guys at Desolenator came up with a portable, solar-powered water purification device that can yield up to 15 liters of clean water per day.  That’s more than enough for the needs of a family of five!

According to the team, “We take the solar radiation that hits the surface of the system and harness ALL of it. Unlike reverse osmosis systems that are expensive, have consumables and which are usually powered by fossil fuels or solar stills which have a low yield, Desolenator is robust, energy independent and has no moving parts. During its lifetime Desolenator will desalinate water at a lower cost per litre than any system at this scale available on the market today.”

The estimated cost of the device is US$450, which isn’t exactly cheap.  However, the device lasts for 20 years, converting dirty water into drinkable water all the time without additional inputs.  To make the technology more accessible to the masses, the developers are exploring options such as communal ownership, micro financing and per use pricing.  Maybe they can look into bottled water stations for sea-side communities in Southeast Asia?

So will the parched souls in island communities know it is Christmas?  Hopefully with the Desolenator they will.

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