Sure, giant seawater desalination plants are great if you can afford them, but designer Jason Lam's SOLAQUA is a water purification system for everyone else. The plastic device purifies water by leaving it out in the sun. Simply dump water into the center portion of the SOLAQUA, and it is filtered out into five 10 liter petals.
The device, meant for use in Sub-Saharan Africa, contains a built-in filter made of sari cloth that removes solid pollutants. SOLAQUA also removes the need for boiling, which requires fire and fuel.
Lam's purification device eases the burden of carrying the water as well. "Ergonomically, Solaqua provides a double-sided handle for two children to carry if it is too heavy," says Lam. "However, still provides a central handle for an adult or stronger person to carry. Solaqua tries to move away from carrying heavy water tanks on heads (traditional method of carrying water within African communities) because of spinal and neck related injuries."
Before marketing the SOLAQUA, Lam might want to think about a name change. A company called SolAqua Inc. already offers a line of passive solar water distillers.