Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2022

We tend to take for granted that when we turn the tap, clean water comes out that is safe to drink. In parts of the world such as Jamaica, that’s a luxury that can’t always be enjoyed. And that’s a problem for both people and the environment as it creates an over-reliance on bottled water, which creates massive amounts of plastic pollution. The good news is that legitimate solutions are emerging that can provide clean drinking water to places in need. A fantastic example of this can be found atop a children’s hospital in Jamaica where solar-powered “hydro panels” have been placed on the roof that pulls moisture from the air and convert it into readily available, clean drinking water. Nanomaterials inside each panel absorb vapor from the air, and then solar power pushes the water into a reservoir, where minerals are added for taste. Then the water can be sent by pipe to taps inside. At the hospital, 20 panels on the roof can provide almost 800 gallons each month, more than patients need. The company behind these panels, Zero Mass Water, has also installed them atop fire stations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria when local water supplies were cut off, and that water source is now in place for future storms. Instead of bringing in crates of bottled water after a hurricane, the community can use the panels.

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