PUBLICATION STORE SUBSCRIBE

Zero Mass Water: Sunshine + Air = Water

According to the US Geological Survey, more than 99.7% of the Earth’s water is unusable by humans and most other living things, either because it is saline or trapped in glaciers. This leaves a tiny portion of accessible freshwater for humans to use. To add to the pressure, South Africa is a semi-arid region with a mean annual precipitation of 497mm per year, just over half the global average of 860mm per year making it the 30th driest country in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. In addition, research has indicated that total precipitation in the region has declined, and southern Africa’s water resources are likely to decrease further as a result of climate change and rapidly increasing population growth and urbanization The current water crisis in Cape Town is testimony to this with Day Zero still looming for the city into 2019, and water security very much in the balance. Enter Zero Mass Water’s SOURCE Hydropanels: a world-first technology which uses sunlight and air to make safe, pure drinking water.

Powered entirely by solar, SOURCE extracts pure water vapour from the air and converts it into liquid water similar to distilled. This water is mineralised with magnesium and calcium before being delivered directly to a tap. Completely infrastructure-independent, SOURCE makes water without any external electric or water input. This significant advancement in drinking water access is made possible through the combination of thermodynamics, materials science, and controls technology.

Developed by Zero Mass Water founder and CEO Cody Friesen, a materials scientist and associate professor at Arizona State University, SOURCE utilises an ultra-absorbent material that collects water from the air around it in even arid conditions. Producing an average of 3-5 litres of water per panel per day, the Hydropanels are built in arrays designed to meet the drinking water needs of each application. For developers and architects incorporating smart-home technology into their designs and offerings, SOURCE is a differentiating feature of any modern home. Providing drinking water security and quality without any environmental consequence, SOURCE Hydropanels are vital for every resilient home and community.

For the hospitality sector, SOURCE adds value when built into scalable arrays. The SOURCE Hydropanels are modular and can be aggregated to meet the drinking water needs of a hotel, lodge or office building. “With the high-cost and environmental damage of bottled water, hotels and attractions need a better choice for their guests. Our system provides a daily supply of delicious, high-quality drinking water while offsetting the carbon footprint of bottled water.

With renewable water made on-site, SOURCE offers an infrastructure-free and cost-saving alternative to bottled water, without the hassle or logistics of purchasing and delivering it,” says Friesen. With the technology installed for emergency situations, in municipalities that have failing infrastructures, and homes for families looking for a better drinking water choice, the scope of applications for SOURCE Hydropanels in South Africa is seemingly endless, and will certainly go a long way to ensuring water security for all.

Mpuma municipal official allegedly fed residents ‘black’ water

Emakhazeni – The Emakhazeni local municipality in Mpumalanga is investigating an official who is accused of deliberately supplying dirty water to the community of Siyathuthuka township in Emakhazeni.

The municipality’s executive mayor Hamza Ngwenya confirmed with a News24 Correspondent that an investigation was under way and that the official has since been moved from his position.

“There’s an employee who is suspected of channelling water directly from the dams bypassing the water purification process and feeding it directly to the community for consumption. This is a matter the municipality is still establishing the facts [about] with a view to deal with it administratively,” said Ngwenya on Wednesday.

On Monday, the entire township was brought to a standstill, when the community blocked all access roads to protest against dirty water and allegations of corruption by an official in the municipality.

Residents claim that the upheaval was sparked off by the flow of dirty black water from taps for more than a week.

“For more than seven days we were forced to buy water for drinking and bathing because the tap water was so dirty and black,” said a protesting resident who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another resident said a local hospital advised him to boil water before consumption after his daughter fell sick, which could be an indication that the illness may have been caused by the water quality.

‘Difficult’ for the municipality

Provincial health department spokesperson Chris Nobela confirmed an increase in the number of patients with sicknesses that could be linked to the consumption of untreated water.

He said this, however, happened in December 2015.

“Between the 17th and 25th December (2015), the HA Grove Hospital in Emakhazeni treated 19 patients for stomach cramps and diarrhoea, and the patients were being advised to boil the water before use, and since then the situation has normalised,” said Nobela.

Ngwenya acknowledged that it was difficult for the municipality to deal with the matter.

He said as a precautionary measure, the municipality has shifted the official responsible for the water treatment plant to another department while investigations were still continuing.

“The issue of water quality cannot be resolved overnight, especially if it is true that there’s a person who is sabotaging [efforts to supply clean water]. I’m told by the manager that the suspect has been removed from the plant and placed in another department,” said Ngwenya.

He also disclosed that the water infrastructure in Emakhazeni local municipality was no longer capable to match the township’s rapid growth.

“Our infrastructure is no longer able to keep up with the population growth, while there has never been the upgrading of the infrastructure,” said Ngwenya.

Upgrades

He said, however, the department of water affairs would be installing the requisite infrastructure.

“There’s a project that we are going to be implementing through the [national] department of water and sanitation to improve the water infrastructure. According to the department of (water and sanitation), the contractor would be on site by April,” said Ngwenya.

In terms of the department of water affairs’ Blue Drop water audits conducted in 2014, Emakhazeni is described as Mpumalanga province’s 8th worst performing water service authority of the province’s 18 municipalities.

Emakhazeni’s overall Blue Drop score is a mere 50%.

“The Municipality has not maintained a comprehensive water safety planning process since the previous water safety plan was developed in 2012. Corrective actions identified in the 2012 risk assessment are still outstanding and limited implementation of any recommendations provided in the 2013 process audits,” reads the report.

The only time Emakhazeni’s water quality received a Blue Drop certification was in 2011 when it achieved a score of 89%.

Expose your company to in excess of 3000 B2B delegates

Make sure you get the best SA and international green economy stories delivered to you, as frequently as you like.

Here’s how to reach more than 20,000 subscribers that are interested in green economy content

The best way to gather hundreds of qualified leads

Source: news24


Follow Alive2Green on Social Media
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +