With climate change taking its toll, fresh water crisis is spreading incredibly fast, affecting new areas in both the developing and the developed world. New technological advances do appear, but before a highly efficient and affordable large-scale solution is found, finding fresh water resources will remain a huge problem.
So, while the big guys are working day and night to bring the cost of desalination down, others focus on the small scale. A new start-up called EcoH2O, a spin off from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has developed a portable desalination system. It is small, meaning that it cannot save the whole planet at once, but it can be there for those who really need it.
Meet SAROS, the desalination tech that is fully powered by the motion of the ocean waves. It uses high-pressure pumps, which extract the salt from the sea water and make it perfectly fit for drinking. SAROS comes in a shape of a unit, with portable buoys to keep it afloat.
In terms of efficiency, the tech can make around 2,000 gallons (~7500 liters) of fresh water per day, which should be sufficient to meet the needs of a small community. In terms of size, SAROS can perfectly fit in a regular pick-up truck, making it very easy to be transported fast to any place at any time.
SAROS is brilliant for areas stroked by natural disasters, where access to drinking water is limited, or the regular purification plants are out of order. It does not require any external electricity source, which means it is very affordable to operate.
The estimated price of the unit is $23,000 and its life expectancy is 10 years. The makers do not look at it as a highly profitable technology, but they believe that making water is much more important than making money.
Image (c) SAROS Desalination