Written By: Mike Straub
Nearly 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water, according to water.org. About 1 in 8 people live without a faucet. Instead, they travel on foot, sometimes for many hours, to a water source likely contaminated by dirt, animal waste, and disease. They must also carry it to their families, praying it doesn’t make their children horribly ill, or worse.
Can you imagine the extremes you would go to for clean water? According to the Global Policy Forum, more than 50 countries on 5 continents are on their way to disputes over water rights which often lead to violence.
For example, a huge part of the on-going conflict between Israel and Palestine rests with clean water. The region struggles with a drought that stretches back over 6 years and Israelis and Palestinians allowed a finite amount of water per day. Israel believes the solution is to desalinate sea water, which has the potential to quench thirst and perhaps gradually ease the conflict between the two countries.
Israel touts its desalination, but those facilities run on traditional fossil fuels. OTEC de-sal runs off clean OTEC power, producing millions of gallons of water without burning fossil fuels. An OTEC plant can produce the water a community needs to grow and that potable water could be moved around the world.
The water crisis can’t be stopped overnight, but OTEC power and water production can play a key role in its solution… and more people will have a nice short walk to water, just you like and me.