Kenya Installs The First Solar Plant That Transforms Ocean Water Into Drinking Water
Published in Dec 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
This solar-powered system in Kenya turns the ocean’s salty water into fresh drinking water, and it could help address the world’s growing water crisis.
Around 2.2 billion people have no safe access to drinking water, which could seem pretty ironic because we live on a planet that’s covered to 71 percent by water.
The issue is, 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water is saline water, which isn’t safe for drinking. That leaves us with only rivers, some lakes, and groundwater for household use.
Of course, if you’re reading this from a developed state or country, you might not understand this problem at a personal level. After all, you can get safe drinking water from the taps in your apartment or home.
This, however, isn’t the case for billions of people in developing nations. But no need for sad faces as there might be a solution to this problem.
Give Power project
Recently, a non-governmental organization, Give Power, launched a solar-powered system that transforms salty ocean water into fresh drinking water.
This isn’t the company’s first project of this kind and they had huge success in installing a new plant that transforms saline water into drinking water in Kiunga, a small town in Kenya.
The project can transform more than 19,800 gallons (70,000 liters) of ocean water into drinkable water every day.
Providing Drinking Water to 35,000 People 24 Hours a Day
The Give Power project makes ocean water safe for drinking through a process called desalination. It involves separating salts and other minerals from water.
While the process requires high power, thus expensive to maintain, using solar energy offers a long-term solution.
Give Power used a technology called ‘solar water farm,’ and it harvests solar energy using solar panels. Kiunga’s project can produce more than 50 kilowatts of energy per day.
Therefore, it produces drinking water for thousands of people every day, using two water pumps that run 24/7.
Besides, according to GivePower, the water quality is better than that of a typical desalination plant, and their system doesn’t have negative environmental impacts.
The Project Changed Lives in Kiunga
Before Give Power installed the desalination system, Kiunga residents had to travel for hours to reach their only water source. The water came from a well located on the same channel that animals used for drinking. It was full of pollutants and parasites that could cause diseases like E. coli and even death.
Hayes Barnard, president of GivePower, said:
“They were basically poisoning their families with this water.”
Now, Kiunga residents have fresh, safe drinking water in their taps.
Give Power Plans to Build More Plants to Alleviate World’s Water Scarcity
By 2025, more than half of the world’s population will be living in areas facing water scarcity.
Only 2.5% of our planet’s water is freshwater, and the number is declining every day with the effect of global warming on glaciers and icebergs.
To help combat this crisis, Give Power has already begun installing desalination systems in more than 2,500 schools, businesses, and emergency services in over 17 countries.