Fresh Water is one of the scarce commodities of this world and it is lacked by more than forty percent of the world’s population. It reduces at a very rapid rate, and predictions have been made that it might lead to the next world war.
Fresh water is only a fraction of the total amount of water present on earth. Earth contains seventy percent of water, and only three percent of this seventy is fresh. This three percent of seventy is what the world uses for bathing, cooking, drinking, and every other palatable use.
As of today, increase in population does not favor the circulation of fresh water as it leads to a decrease in quantity with time. This water scarcity problem has been a major problem, and its source is not only natural by also caused by man; through road salt runoff into water bodies. This causes most fresh water bodies to stand the risk of becoming salty over time, and would lead to a decrease in supply of fresh water if this epidemic continues at different parts of the world.
Researches have been made and are still being made to convert sea water to fresh water. This seems like the only hope for man, since the only fresh water available is at the arctic regions and it would require a lot of money to supply the whole world from this source. This method of desalinating sea water is very simple and inexpensive on a small scale, although has the downsides of costing up to thrice the amount of fresh water and increasing the carbon deposits on the earth.
A device designed by the scientists of MIT to convert air to water using solar energy was developed, alongside another device designed by researchers at Rice and Yale Universities to convert salt water into fresh water using solar energy a few months after.
The final device developed is a compact unit for use at off-grid locations, and can be used for production for large communities by scaling it up. This device has been speculated to be able to provide fresh water for at least one family when the compact type is used, and these new solar methods has also been estimated to produce fresh water for at least a billion people.
But a new plant method, called Thermal desalination, has been proved to be a cheaper and more effective method to extract fresh water from salty water such as sea water, brackish water and brine. This method uses energy to evaporate water and condense it after evaporation. It works on the same principle as that of refineries and power plants.