7th September 2018
A technological invention that produces clean drinking water from sunlight and air has been installed at Petros Primary School on the Vanuatu Island of Tanna.
The SOURCE Hydropannel device, created by US company, Zero Mass Water will produce 3000 litres of safe, reliable drinking water for the school community per month.
Although the Island of Tana receives an abundance of rainfall, the water is unsafe for locals to drink.
A nearby active volcano, Mount Yasur, contaminates captured rain water with sulfur dust, making it harmful to drink.
The SOURCE Hydropannel technology works by using solar power to extract vapour from the air to produce fresh water. The water travels into a reservoir where it is then mineralized with calcium and magnesium which not only improves the taste but also has many health benefits.
The technology is also providing environmental benefits such as reducing the amount of single use plastics.
The Petros Primary School Hydropannel cost approximately $US75,000 and was funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Asian Development Bank Vice President, Stephen Groff said, “This project is an excellent example of innovation and technology delivering real benefits to people in places like Tanna.”
Vanuatu’s Minister of Education, Jean-Pierre Nirua states, “This technology fills a critical gap in providing safe drinking water to the Petros school community and we hope this pilot may be extended beyond the education sector.”
The Petros Primary School Hydropannel is the first of its kind in Vanuatu, and its success will determine the potential for future adoption in the tourism industry as well as households and businesses and across other Pacific Islands.
“We are proud to be a part of this landmark project, supported by the Government of Vanuatu and ADB, that has delivered a resilient, long-term, and safe drinking water solution to the Petros Primary School community in Tanna, one of the most remote, vulnerable, and infrastructure-challenged parts of the Pacific Islands,” said ZMW’s Executive Vice President of Global Business Development Mr. Rob Bartrop.