Imagine a machine that can turn contaminated water from a river, ocean or even sewage into drinking water, while at the same time generating enough electricity to power itself with surplus, and connecting everywhere within a kilometre radius to Wi-Fi.
It sounds too good to be true, but Marco Attisani has created just that. Watly is a solar-powered water purification machine that can service a community of up to 3,000 people.
The project is designed to solve three major weaknesses in infrastructure all at once: access to water, electricity and internet. Across the world, 783 million people do not have access to clean water, 1.2 billion lack access to electricity, and 4.2 billion are still without internet access.
Watly isn’t just designed for developing countries. It can also help communities that have high levels of sunlight, but struggle to find sustainable solutions to generating clean water.
« The only things it needs to run are dirty water and a lot of Sun, » said Attisani, the 44-year-old Italian creator of Watly. From that it can purify 5,000 litres of water and « generate enough electricity to power itself and to power external devices. »
The US state of Texas, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia have all expressed interest in Watly, as have nations from the African continent and South America.
Major telecoms companies have also indicated that they might want to invest in the technology, according to Attisani. « You might have a phone from the same brand as one of the companies, » he said cryptically. « All of them are working confidentially right now. »
The innovation that most excites Attisani isn’t the water purification, but the ability to generate internet access without a power station. « That’s the future, » he said.
Source: Telegraph UK