Despite being the most abundant resource on Earth, covering over 70% of the planet, water is in short supply. Overpopulation, climate change and global conflict are some of the factors responsible for devastatingly inadequate water supply in many areas around the world. Close to two billion people, who make up a quarter of the world population, have no access to drinking water.
Solution for the quandary
Such jarring situations have nudged companies to address these issues and create a contingency plan before it is too late. One such solution is offered by Michael Mirilashvili, head of Watergen, an Israel based firm. They are using their air-to-water technology to deliver safe drinking water to remote areas of the world in the midst of conflict or climate change.
Air pollution is a widespread concern among all the world’s major cities. But it is not a cause for concern when converting dirty or polluted air into clean water, as per the scientists. Watergeb’s machines are already being used to support hospitals in the Gaza strip and Central Africa’s rural villages, where otherwise people would have to walk hours for a little bit of water.
More than two billion people are consuming contaminated water, according to a report by the World Health Organization(WHO). A single sip is enough for illnesses such as typhoid and cholera.
Oceans are a resource for clean drinking water. The icebergs, in the form of glaciers, contain the world’s purest water from thousands of years ago. Shipping the giant blocks of ice is hazardous, and marine ecosystems can be damaged when these glaciers melt.
Harvesting the glaciers
As water scarcity is an impending risk due to the rising temperatures caused by climate change, many firms are taking advantage of nature and its icebergs. Shipping the icebergs is an arduous task in itself. They are to be wrapped in specially designed insulated material to keep the melting rate minimal. No wonder that the whole process is expensive.
While iceberg harvesting makes sense, and many entrepreneurs have successfully done business out of this idea, there are various other time-tested methods for a sustainable water supply. Many civilizations in the past have maintained a steady water supply through the process of desalination using heat.
In the current times, desalinization is performed using reverse osmosis in government or private run desalination plants. While modern plants have no impact on the marine ecosystem, the older factories with outdated desalination methods pose a risk due to their pumping of high levels of brine back into the ocean. It also increases the salt content of the ocean water furthermore.
Though nobody still knows if these solutions will solve the water shortage problem, scientists are not giving up hope and searching for answers that will have no impact on the already burdened ecosystems.