Kenya Installs the First Solar Plant that Transforms Ocean Water into Drinking Water, and It Could Be the Solution to the Global Lack of Water

Modern societies are the privileged ones and most people who live in them are not even aware of their privileges. Most of us do not consider the privilege of staying in a warm living room enjoying some snacks, or drinking fresh juice, or water, but believe us, it is a privilege.

There are still people and children who experience famine as a part of their lives. Children need to walk for miles to receive their needed education and millions of people are struggling with poverty and lack of housing.

Aside these horrible conditions, there are many countries in the world that face war, deadly diseases and poverty on daily basis. Many of them are hungry and thirsty and cannot even imagine being in a cozy living room.

There are millions of people in the world that do not have access to safe drinkable water, which is even unthinkable when you consider the fact that water makes up 71% of the Earth.

According to the World Economic Forum the global water crisis is the number four risk impacting a particular society.

As per the obtained data:

  • 785 million people do not have access to safe drinkable water,

  • about 2.2 billion people are deficient of safely-managed water services,

  • 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services,

  • 3000 million people are without basic facilities for washing hands.

Even when there is fresh water in rural and poor areas, this water is not properly cleaned which makes it unsafe for use.

Fortunately, a non-profit branch of the Tesla subsidiary Solar City was launched in 2013 which team made of engineers, developers, and clean energy thought leaders worked to “design, build and deploy renewable energy systems that provide food, water, and light to those who need it most.”

NGO, GivePower, has decided to do something about this alarming issue. Here it is what Hayes Barnard, founder and president of this non-profit branch says about it:

Humanity needs to take swift action to address the increasingly severe global water crisis that faces the developing world. With our background in off-grid clean energy, GivePower can immediately help by deploying solar water farm solutions to save lives in areas throughout the world that suffer from prolonged water scarcity.”

In Kenya, Kiunga, this organization has installed a solar-powered desalination system that can bring clean, healthy water in such small fishing community. It is based on using salty ocean water and converting it into drinkable water. This system can produce around 70 thousand liters of drinkable water on daily basis, sufficient for up to 35 thousand people. This village was an ideal place for the world’s first GivePower Solar Water Farm since it is close to the Indian Ocean.

How salty water is created into fresh drinkable water?

The first process is desalination separating the salts and other minerals from the water that is being done by forcing the water through a membrane. In order that to be achieved any solution should keep equal parts of salt, minerals, and water on either side of the membrane, known as osmotic pressure.

This process needs plenty of energy and because of that in the past were used high amounts of chemicals in the process of desalination and post-treatment. NGO found the perfect eco-solution with the help of a new technology named as “solar water farms”.

The system is based on solar panels that produce 50 kilowatts of energy that is being stored in two high-performance Tesla batteries. The two water pumps operate 24 hours per day thanks to this energy. As a result of that high-quality water is being produced without saline residues and pollutants that can threaten the environment and animals.

After the drought in 2014, people of Kiunga, Kenya, located a few miles south of the Somalian border, had only dirty sea and brackish saltwater. They had to travel for an hour in order to reach to their only source of water for drinking, bathing, and washing. However, this was not clean water as this well was located on the same channel that animals use thus being polluted and rich in parasites.

Barnard stated:

They were basically poisoning their families with this water.”

Thanks to the new solar system the people from this village are now with clean, fresh, safe drinking water. The 3 500 residents can use it directly from a tap.

GivePower plans to build more such plants all over the world, and are raising funds to install more solar water farms. Up to now they have provided solar grids in more than 2,650 locations like in medical clinics, schools, businesses, and emergency services in 17 countries.

Sources:

sciencetimes.com

businessinsider.com

wasbst.com

interestingengineering.com

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