MIT Researchers Create Solar-Based Solution to Help Solve Global Water Crisis

by Vikas Vij
Apr 28, 2015 9:00 AM ET
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By 2025, nearly two billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world will survive in water-stressed conditions. More than 1.4 billion people currently live in river basins where water use is more than the minimum recharge levels, according to the UN Development Programme. In 60 percent of European cities with a population of 100,000 or more, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished.

An engineering team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working on an innovative solar-based solution to desalinate water in order to provide clean water to rural communities across the developing world. The team, comprising Amos Winter and Natasha Wright, who work at MIT’s Global Engineering and Research Lab, or GEAR, are developing this solution as a part of a competition sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bureau of Reclamation.

The desalination project is being supported by Jain Irrigation Systems Inc. of India and by MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, which researches technologies for developing countries. The center is backed by the Tata Group, one of the largest corporations in India.

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​Image Credit: Flickr via Anthony Quintano

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.