Photo courtesy of United Nations
French inventor, Marc Parent may have just come up with what could be this century's most coveted invention: A wind turbine that creates fresh water from thin air.
Given that the United Nations finds that 700 million people in 43 countries suffer from water scarcity today and worse yet -by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity along with two-thirds of the world's population calculated with the probability of living under water stressed conditions- this could be a miracle creation.
The dangerous figures don't stop there: The UN explains that existing climate change conditions could put half of the world's population in areas of high water stress by 2030; noting that this translates to between 75 million and 250 million people in the African continent, alone. Furthermore, climate change could cause the displacement of anywhere from 24 million to 700 million people.
Parent has explained that the inspiration came from the mechanics of water dripping from an air conditioner.
The French inventor is the founder of Eole Water, the company that produces wind turbines that generate fresh water out of air, creating the WMS1000, the wind turbine that uses electricity generated from a windmill to collect and treat water without any water source.
Parent was inspired to create a solution that could bring fresh water to the most remote and driest parts of the world while living in the Caribbean, explained Thibault Janin, Eole Water's Marketing and Communication Director. Janin described the idea's conception to ABC News:
"The idea came from Marc Parent, founder of Eole Water, when he lived in the Caribbean, and was subjected to water shortages. He began to work on a system that could recover moisture from the air and transform it into water. Soon after, he returned to France. He patented the process and founded Eole Water."
Each unit can create 1,000 liters of safe drinking water using only moisture in the air and powered solely by wind. Eole Water says that the invention has been designed to operate in very remote areas with its marketing demo illustrating simple maintenance with a minimum lifetime of 20 years.
Imagine what this could mean for people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has the largest number of water-stressed countries of any region in the world.
However, like anything that sounds too good to be true, there's a catch- the price tag: The WMS1000 costs $600,000 and the people who need it most live on less than $1.25 per day.
Let's hope Marc Parent and company are participating at global events like World Water Week, which opened yesterday in Stockholm, Sweden with a call for global action for substantial increases in public and private sector investment to reduce food and water waste with global leaders and experts looking into ways to advance water efficiency in agriculture and help combat the challenges of increasing water scarcity.
Considering that water is essential to life, Mr. Parent may have created a life saver.