Thursday, 25 March 2010

Water: The battle of the future?

Remember that fad, a couple of years ago, when everybody was talking about how Coca Cola was buying up the worlds water supply? Or WaterWorld? Or hundreds of other books, movies, comics, stories, blogs and articles that have all talked about how our thirst for water was going to become the next battleground.

One of the only things I share with Americans, apart from a common bloodline, is a belief in human ingenuity. I have always thought that it would show in the search for new drinkable water sources. Desalination is an obvious source, seeing that more than 71% of the earths surface is covered by it, against only 3% freshwater, and more every day. Price, energy requirement, space etc are some of the barriers that need to be addressed, and I get excited about every possible solution to these problems. One of these comes out of MIT: 1,600 of the new desalination chips they have developed (pictured) can produce up to 15 liters of drinkable water an hour at 99% purity. I'd be interested to see how it can scale and become commercially viable!


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