Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a system to capture moisture from the oceans to turn it into drinking water. This technology can take advantage of global warming to deal with droughts and water shortages around the world.
Using warming seas to solve the problem of water shortage in the world would be one of the long-term solutions. According to a study published in the journal Nature on December 6, American researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have developed a system that can make it possible to recover seawater vapor to make it into drinking water.
Large scale technology
“We will have to find a way to increase the supply of fresh water because the conservation and recycling of water from existing sources, although necessary, will not be enough to meet human needs. The method we have just proposed , can achieve this on a large scale”, explains one of the authors of the study, Professor Praveen Kumar.
In summary, extraction structures located offshore capture water-saturated air from the oceans that rises into the atmosphere before it condenses. The reclaimed water is then transported in pipes to be stored before being redistributed, Le Parisien reports.
According to the researchers’ estimate after the many simulations carried out, a “vertical catchment surface 210 m wide and 100 m high can provide a sufficient amount of extractable moisture to cover the daily drinking water needs of approximately 500,000 people on average”. This system could thus generate between 37.6 billion and 78.3 billion liters of water per year depending on site conditions.
“Climate projections show that sea vapor flux will only increase over time, (the warmer it is, the more evaporation) providing even more freshwater supply. This provides an efficient and effective approach. much needed for climate change adaptation, especially for vulnerable populations living in arid and semi-arid regions of the world,” co-author Afeefa Rahman said in the study reported by Le Parisien.