The worldwide water shortage is a far-reaching issue that affects billions of people every single day. According to statistics from the World Health Organization and UNICEF, one in ten people lack access to safe, clean water. Startlingly, one in three people lack access to a toilet. Citizens of economically struggling countries in dry climates struggle to survive with the technology that currently exists to curate clean water. However, their luck may have finally turned with the discovery of a new, solar-powered system that may be able to provide water for people living in impoverished countries.
The new system, which is referred to as a solar still, has two major benefits when compared to current solar stills. First of all, it is made entirely of cheap materials. The three major components of each still are a special, fibrous paper, carbon-black, and polystyrene foam. The stills cost about two dollars to make per square meter, which leads to the possibility of widespread, and even worldwide, distribution. By comparison to currently available stills that can cost as much as two-hundred dollars per square meter, the new still costs next-to-nothing.
Secondly, the novel system is far more efficient than any other solar still available today. A still that is one square meter, and costs only two dollars to make, has the capability to, “purify 1 liter of water per hour, which is about four times faster than commercially available versions…” An adult man is generally suggested to drink three liters of water per day, which means just one still has the ability to easily provide enough water for two full-grown men on a daily basis.
The idea of a cheap still for worldwide usage has always been an idea, but has never truly come to fruition until now. The real possibility for people around the world, whether impoverished or not, to have access to clean water is revolutionary. If this still is distributed effectively, people will no longer have to wake up and wonder whether they will have enough water for the day. There may finally be a real option to combat the epidemic of the water shortage.