Water scarcity is an issue faced by 4 billion people in the world. Desalination, the removal of salt from seawater, is a method that is being increasingly used to try and combat that.
There are two main approaches to desalination plants: thermal desalination and seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO). Thermal desalination plants use heat to evaporate water, much like how it works in nature. However, these plants are fully reliant on being connected to power plants which limit where they can be built.
SWRO plants use external pressure to move saltwater through a membrane that removes salt and other impurities. These plants have already started transitioning to run fully or partially on renewable energy like solar and wind.
In Greece, Temak S. A., a water treatment company, designed a solar powered reverse osmosis plant that was installed on a small island. This award winning project reduced energy use by 42% and is fully self-sustaining and autonomous.
Innovations like this are helping provide potable water to people in a climate friendly manner.