The Future of Water: Cheap Drinkable Seawater

In a rare collaboration, scientists from the US and China have created a groundbreaking, cost-effective, and efficient method for purifying seawater. The new passive solar-powered desalination tool can produce 4-6 liters of clean water per hour and has the potential to sustain a coastal household in sunny areas year-round when scaled up.

Despite the constant warnings from natural resource managers, city planners, and climate activists about the increasing severity of droughts in the future, the solution may have always been right in front of us. By utilizing the Earth’s vast amount of undrinkable water, the technology can significantly improve global access to clean water.

The tool uses thermohaline circulation, which is the same process that occurs in the ocean, to create swirling eddies that evaporate the water, leaving the salt behind. The water vapor is collected at a rate that can sustain daily household demands. This process, powered by sunlight, makes it possible for water to be even cheaper than tap water!

This breakthrough in solar desalination technology has the potential to address real-world problems in coastal communities with water scarcity issues. The components of the still are designed for a 10-year lifespan, making it a long-lasting and practical solution.

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