Technology is making access to clean drinking water easier than ever.
Here’s one pretty impressive sustainable innovation: A new kind of solar panel that can also create clean drinking water.
Developed by an Arizona startup called Zero Mass Water, the Source solar panel uses solar energy to produce potable water for a family of four or an entire hospital, depending on the number of panels in use, according to Inhabitat.com, a weblog that covers innovations in architecture and home design. The Source solar panel works by passively absorbing moisture from the air using a special material. The solar panel creates the electricity, which is also used to power the process that gets the water out of the collection material and in turn, evaporates the water to remove any remaining pollutants, according to the article.
Thanks to funding from the Clinton Foundation, Duke Energy International, and other investors, the company is planning to use Source to provide fresh water to Syrian refugees in Jordan, affecting 100,000 households by the end of 2017, according the site. The Source panels can be used alone or put to use in groups, which makes them readily scalable to meet a range of water needs.