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Water scarcity

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Issue

Water shortage

There is a lack of adequate quantities of water of a sufficient quality.

Water scarcity is a global problem that increases in size on a daily basis. Islands and coastal areas have the possibility to desalinate seawater into fresh water. However, desalination is energy intensive. Fossil fuels have limited availability, fluctuating price and negative consequences, thus it would make sense to use renewable energy to drive the desalination process. However, reverse osmosis is designed for constant operation, while renewable energy such as the sun, wind or waves fluctuate over time.

Solution

Reverse osmosis via renewable energy

Via reverse osmosis, fresh water is produced from seawater. The energy from solar panels, wind turbines or waves is used to create an elevated salt water buffer. This allows a continuous reverse osmosis even when there is a limited energy supply. By using renewable energy the costs for the desalination decreases, and there is no other electricity source required. The solution is scalable from a few thousand liters of fresh water per day up to a million.

Pros

  • No connection to the electricity-grid required
  • Automation & remote monitoring
  • Uses renewable energy sources

Characteristics

  1. Topic Water quantity
  2. Development state 9: Successfully used in operational situation
  3. Setting type Coastal area
  4. Water type Sea water
  5. Project period 3-12 months