New “water chip” promises simple, portable, membrane-free water desalination

A recent breakthrough in desalination technology has led to the development of a new method for removing the salts from seawater, one nanoliter at a time.

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Our limited supply of fresh water is in high demand, and as we try to cope with “peak water”, one of the strategies is to work toward making desalination technology more efficient, cheaper, and less energy-intensive. Having an affordable, simple, and effective way to turn seawater or other briny water sources into clean drinking water could mean the difference between life and death in many parts of the world. Read more

7 Ways Technology Will Provide Water for the World

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Our ever-increasing population is stretching our ability to provide clean water for our needs, from agriculture and manufacturing to the most basic one of all: drinking water. But recent innovations in water technology may have some answers on tap to that problem.

1. Smart Water Metering:

Smart water meters go above and beyond the capabilities of the basic meter on the side of your house, enabling users to monitor their water usage more accurately (and only pay for the water they’ve actually used), and help water suppliers to identify leaks and thefts, as well as see where and when water usage is highest (and to charge accordingly). Read more

Woosh Water is reinventing the drinking fountain

Water conservation is a huge concern in Israel and the rest of the Middle East. An interesting startup in Israel called Woosh Water is helping conserve water and reduce plastic consumption by reinventing the public drinking fountain with a high-tech and networked solution.

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Woosh Water stations allow users to refill water bottles and reduce the consumption of disposable plastic water bottles.

The stations can be used by anyone, but the system works best when users join the network. After joining online, users receive a small keychain sensor to login when they refill their bottle. And because they are networked together, the Woosh Water Stations track how much water a user has consumed and how many plastic bottles they have kept out of the waste stream by using a reusable bottle, as well as how many all Woosh users have collectively avoided. This provides a social reward and incentive for people to use the system and encourage others to participate, as well. Read more

Unintended consequences: motors driven by tap water

The small electric motor was probably revolutionary than the electric light bulb; people could get light from gas or candles, but the motor led to the development of fans and home appliances, and changed the way factories were designed and goods were produced. But before there was universal delivery of electricity, there was tap water, and Kris De Decker of Low-Tech Magazine describes how water-powered motors did many of the same tasks.

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In Europe, small motors using the public water supply appeared in the 1840s. In the US, they came into extensive use in the 1870s and 1880s. A water motor consisted of a small water turbine that was suspended in a metal casing. The diameter of the turbine runner could be anywhere between from 20 to 90 cm. Read more

15 Concepts and Solutions for Providing Clean Drinking Water

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From low-tech to high-tech, concepts and solutions for providing clean drinking water are everywhere. Some are simple and portable while others are large and scalable, and we’re going to need all of these varieties of ideas in order to make sure that access to safe clean water is a right, not a privilege.

Using “Super Sand” to clean water:

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“Billions of people lack access to clean drinking water and researchers are constantly searching for cost-effective ways to purify water for rural villages and developing areas. Read more