Italian designer Gabriella Diamanti has developed a simple solar powered still that turns sea water into drinking water, is portable and can be made for less that $50 per unit, reports treehugger.com.
The still works “like an upside-down coffee percolator to desalinate salt water,” says reporter Meagan Treacy. “The ceramic oven has three main pieces. The top black container is where the salt water is poured. As the sun heats the salt water and creates steam, the pressure that builds pushes the steam through a pipe in the middle section. The steam condenses against the lid of the basin at the bottom and then drips into the basin, where it is collected.”
The still can make up to five litres of fresh water a day. Enough for an average sized family.
Diamanti and his team of open source designers have called the still the Eliodomestico and hope that it will make a significant difference to people who don’t have access to fresh water but are close to the sea.
Diamanti says that while he used terracotta for his prototypes, end users will be able to adapt the design to incorporate whatever suitable materials they have available to them, potentially reducing the cost even further.
De-salination units such as these have been in existence for quite a while but are normally much larger and are commonly used to service hospitals or mains water supplies. This simple-to-use format could make fresh, clean water a daily reality for many millions of people who don’t currently have access.
For more details see:
“The total volume of water on Earth is about 1.4 billion km3. The volume of freshwater resources is around 35 million km3, or about 2.5 percent of the total volume.” (Source: United Nations Environment Programme)
“Collecting water is expected to become increasingly burdensome with global warming. More regions will experience water shortages, as rainfall becomes erratic, glaciers melt and seas rise. People living within 60 miles of a shoreline — a full third of the world’s population — will be hit especially hard, as they are most susceptible to increased salinity of coastal potable water sources. As it takes more time to gather water and fuel, the available time for education or other economic and political activities decreases. Already, the majority of children worldwide who do not attend school are girls.” (Source: UN Women)
“By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.” (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and UN-Water.)
“Water-related diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Over 3 million people die each year, nearly all in developing countries. In some poor countries, diseases resulting from contaminated water comprise 80% of the total disease burden. It is estimated that up to half of all hospital beds in the world are occupied by victims of water contamination.” (Source: https://worldsavvy.org)