#SDGAction26431
From water scarcity to abundance on SIDS using solar desalination
Description/achievement of initiative

The majority of SIDS face water scarcity. Being at the forefront of climate change, with increasing demand through population growth and tourism is the cause. As water is part of everything we do, lack of water means lack of development. Desalination can solve the water shortages. With high energy tariffs on islands, desalination of seawater becomes an expensive exercise. At the same time, islands enjoy the wind, an abundance of sunshine and ocean views. This makes desalination powered directly by renewable energy interesting, with a great potential for decentralized and small-scale island applications. It's time to benefit from unlimited resources.

Implementation methodologies

Finance: Dependent on the end-user and application, we can work together with project partners per SIDS, provide a complete turn-key installation, provide water as a service or involve the non-profit Elemental Water Foundation. As an example: The British Virgin Islands are one of the many islands facing water scarcity. In 2015, Elemental Water Makers formulated a project, together with the local end-user, to construct the world's first off-grid solar-powered desalination unit to get access to clean water. On the island of Great Camanoe a system has been commissioned and personnel was trained to operate and maintain the unit. The solution generates 12500 liters of clean water from seawater per day, using only the power from the sun. It has survived the impact of the hurricane of Irma in 2017 and has produced over 10 million liters from the sea and sun. The solution saves 63% compared to the previous, fossil powered solution while avoiding 25 tons of CO2 emissions each year. The project has resulted in resilience & independence.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Capacity building: The success of a project is determined by the local inclusion. This involves training of personnel for operation, workshops on the benefits and use of clean water, empowerment for individuals by setting up water kiosks and education with local schools about renewable energy and water treatment. Technical expertise: Water is not an exact science, it’s almost an art. Add energy to the equation and two completely different fields of expertise are required to merge, without causing a short-circuit. Without proper pre-filtration, the membranes will quickly have to be replaced. Without the correct energy supply, the motors won’t be able to turn. As a system integrator with patented technology, this is where we thrive.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

This partnership is lead by Elemental Water Makers with the goal to secure fresh water for islands today, without limiting tomorrow, through desalination powered by renewable energy. This means the opportunity for an affordable & reliable water supply from unlimited resources for communities, municipalities, resorts, private properties and industries on islands and coastal regions. The key stakeholders per SIDS are involved in coordinating their water demand and apply to benefit from this solution, so specific projects can be formulated and delivered. Through any project delivered, a direct impact on the availability of water is achieved, without any greenhouse gas emissions. The technology has been recognized by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as a Bright Spot. The Ruler of Dubai awarded the organisation with the 1st prize of the Global Water Award in 2017. Any fresh water scarce SIDS is a potential beneficiary. In the current form of the partnership, the following islands/coastal regions are benefitting: Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Mozambique This video shows the impact of the partnership: https://youtu.be/fjWDcG8xy9s

Partner(s)

The water utility The local, regional and national government Resorts, communities, industries, private properties, municipalities Regulatory bodies Local civil works partners Elemental Water Makers, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Mozambique
Progress reports
Goal 6
Goal 9
Goal 13
Goal 14
06/2021
Increase the availability of water through solar desalination projects on SIDS
06/2021
Decrease the water tariffs for SIDS
06/2021
Remove the dependence of SIDS on the availability and price of fossil fuels
06/2021
Increase resilience through off-grid, independent, decentralized water generation
Staff / Technical expertise
Engineer to analyze the potential and feasibility of desalination powered by renewable energy
In-kind contribution
Knowledge sharing for project development & determining project feasibility
Other, please specify
Network
Other, please specify
Project financing to enable Water Purchase Agreements with SIDS

Basic information
Time-frame: June 2018 - June 2021
Partners
The water utility The local, regional and national government Resorts, communities, industries, private properties, municipalities Regulatory bodies Local civil works partners Elemental Water Makers, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Mozambique
Countries
Contact information
Sid Vollebregt, Managing director, sid@elementalwatermakers.com
United Nations