About one in eight humans do not have access to clean drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. That’s approximately 884 million people.
The repercussion of this reality are a daily reality in developing nations: an estimated 1.4 million children perish each year due to diarrhea brought on by waterborne bacteria. In spite of breathtaking advances in human technology, over 97 percent of the world’s water is still undrinkable.
This full-scale rendering may represent the future of clean water for those who have none.
And while salty or impure water can be cleaned through existing water desalination technologies, the facilities needed are massive and consume vast amounts of energy. It’s costly, too: purifying sea water can cost “over $1,000 per acre-foot,” according to the US Geological Survey. Even worse, of the roughly 12,500 desalination plants operating as of 2002, their combined total output was equal to less than 1 percent of humanity’s daily water consumption.
All of these factors combine to effectively place clean water out of reach for most of the world’s poor.
Enter the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Field and Space Robotics Laboratory, which has developed and successfully tested a portable, solar-powered water desalination system that has the potential to save millions of lives the world over.
Under the guidance of Profs. Steven Dubowsky and Richard Wiesman, the group created a small, reverse-osmosis system that’s capable of producing up to 80 gallons of clean water per day. A scaled-up version of the system could produce up to 1,000 gallons per day, according to David Gabriel, writing for the Environmental News Network.
One of the military’s C-130 cargo planes could theoretically carry up to 24 of these systems, Gabriel noted. With 24,000 gallons of clean water per day, that’s enough to sustain a population of approximately 10,000.
“The system is designed to be cost effective,” he explained. “It is made from standard parts such as PVC pipe and basic electronic components. It can be assembled and operated by local people who do not need advanced technical training. The units can also operate efficiently in a wide range of weather conditions. They have built in computers with sensors that can change certain variables if it gets cloudy. For example, the computer can adjust power going to the pump or the position of the valves to ensure the system will always produce water.”
This video of the portable water desalination prototype in action was released by the MIT News Office on Oct. 14, 2010.
(Courtesy photo: MIT.)
Melania Trump’s memoir plans set off an avalanche of brutal title suggestions
News from Page Six that first lady Melania Trump is planning on writing a memoir about her time in the White House set off an all too predictable flood of title suggestions on social media that were equal parts brutal and hilarious.
According to Page Six, the first lady is planning to write the book and that the income from it will solely be hers allowing her to cash in the past four years like the rest of the Trump family.
Critics slam Alan Dershowitz after he fights to defend his own questionable reputation
Formerly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz shifted into damage control Saturday on Twitter, perhaps in an attempt to win his way back into the dark heart of Donald Trump, at least for the moment.
Dershowitz had been a bad boy earlier this week when he told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that “if you’re betting money you can’t afford to lose, you have to bet that the outcome of the election will not be reversed.” That couldn’t have pleased the home offices at Mar-A-Lago and Moscow.