Our planet is approximately 70% water; even so, statistics show that in excess of 600 million people do not have access to a clean drinking source. Recently, there has been a worldwide effort to provide poverty stricken countries with this vital component of life. With natural water sources being constantly polluted and expensive to clean, organisations have been trying to find additional ways of coming up with pure water.
Zero Mass Water, a company with the aim of making unpolluted water accessible to all, has invented solar technology which ‘produces, delivers, and mineralises clean, fresh drinking water to a tap.’ The unit which they have created, Source, can be installed in just 20 minutes either on the ground or on a roof. It is also able to produce this water without tapping into a natural supply. How is this possible and what are the effects that this unit might be having on these poorer countries?
The unit is made from a special type of material, designed by the company, which is able to absorb water from the air. Its solar panels are then able to harvest the energy from the sun to heat the liquid enough to turn it into steam. This evaporation is the way in which the water is purified. It is then run through a mineral block, adding beneficial nutrients and improving the taste.
Each device is able to produce 5 litres of water daily, with a storage capacity of up to 30 litres. The company has started to install the panels in rescue camps, and poorer communities, and countries such as Ecuador, Mexico and Jordan are now benefiting from clean water. This in turn has dramatically reduced illnesses and deaths, caused from unclean drinking water or dehydration.
The panels have not been reserved for these countries only, however, and are being made available in other areas. In first world countries many people are drinking bottled water or using filters, which are both an ongoing source of expense. The minerals in bottled water are beneficial to the body, and Source is able to infuse these into what will be a cheaper water source in the long run.
In addition, countries that experience drought during the hotter months of the year would now be able to access water during this time. People are forced to store water in tanks, which can be very unhygienic and a breeding ground for certain insects, such as mosquitos. This technology would not only be beneficial to individuals, but many industries (such as farming) would be able to increase production during normally slow periods. This would increase both individual profits and the overall economy.
Zero Mass Water continues to improve on their technology, and is aiming to make larger units which can store more water. This will increase both their humanitarian movement and their appeal to larger industries, in the near future.