It’s not a secret that reducing fresh water trend is one of the hottest topics for discussion at environmental forums and conferences. According to the scientists’ forecasts, by 2025 almost 2.5 million people will face the lack of water. The problem of increasing consumption appears not only because of global population growth. The main factor in water supply reduce is environmental pollution and urbanization.
The lack of fresh stocks is most noticeable in the following countries:
Lack of water in Ethiopia. Photo: Mustafah Abdulaziz
At the end of last year, there was a conflict on the hydroelectric Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction between the governments of Egypt and Ethiopia. Both countries are almost 100% dependent on freshwater from the Nile. The river is a matter of “life and death” for Egypt and Ethiopia, therefore,** fearing a redistribution of water resources**, the countries came to resolve the conflict with the help of independent parties. The agreement was reached on the basis of mutual interests consideration. The HPP construction will continue.
Already at the moment, more than 300 cities in China suffer from extreme water shortage. Water resources face losses due to a constant increase in the industrial pace.
The demographic growth naturally affects the consumption of fresh water in this country. It is said that by 2050 Nigeria will become the leader in terms of the number of people. At the same time, due to the constant pollution of rivers and a small number of reservoirs, a large part of the population has practically no access to clean water.
Open water in Lagos. Photo: Finbarr O’Reilly
Imagine the scale of the problem. There was passed a bill banning people from using unofficial sources of water: private wells, water bodies. At the same time, only 1 out of 10 people can financially provide himself so can get water from the state or private suppliers.
India and Pakistan
More than 20% of infectious diseases in India are caused by the lack of clean drinking water. The constant****increase of conflict between the Hindustan Peninsula countries is caused by the reduction of water resources. According to the UN, the first nuclear war can occur between India and Pakistan because of the growing conflict over the Indus River water use.
One of the most economically developed countries also suffers from a shortage of water resources. Already many years ago southern states had problems with fresh water due to frequent droughts and huge industrial consumption.
Solar energy will help solve the water problem
Due to the fact that every year the total capacity of installed PVS grows, and more families switch to self-service with the help of solar panels, the freshwater consumption is reducing. And sometimes, solar panels even serve as a source of water resource.
Cooling without water
Only in the US, 45% of the total amount of fresh water was consumed to cool conventional fuel power stations in 2010. According to Oxford University study, over 53 billion cubic meters of fresh water is spent on the energy sector every year. Solar power plants do not require cooling and do not consume water in operation. To generate one unit of energy, PVS use****200 times less water than a conventional power plant. — IRENA reported.
Water consumption reduce during production
According to the River Network — a special organization for water resources monitoring, wind, and solar stations are the friendliest ones in water use while the equipment production. It’s not just the fact that solar panels consume a very small amount of water at the development stage, but also because it can be recycled. Recycling makes it possible to significantly reduce fresh water consumption. In addition, solar equipment does not require water during installation and throughout all its operation.
Solar panels protect water
Recently, solar stations began to be built not only in the usual way — on the ground, but also on the water. This method has a lot of advantages: small countries can place PVS without occupying the land. Floating solar power plants have other big pros — water retain. Overwater constructions prevent strong evaporation, and this is very important in arid regions.
India recently built a solar plant above the channel with fresh water. Thus, people not only save on electricity but also have a larger water reserve. The government intends to actively develop this technology.
Solar panels produce water
In 2016, a Zero Mass Water young startup showed the world the latest technology — water-generating solar panels. The technology is very clear — in addition to transforming sunlight into electricity, modules also accumulate steam from the air, collecting up to 5 liters of clean water a day! As the developers said, the principle is similar to air conditioners, which produce water “from the air.” The invention works completely by its own solar panels, and after the collection, the distilled water is mixed with minerals and served for drinking.
The project team says that such panels can be used not only for home use (only 1 block is enough for a family of 4 members) but also for corporations and municipal enterprises.
We want to note the main advantage of solar energy in the struggle for water conservation. 85% of the world’s freshwater reserves are frozen in the northern ocean. Solar power plants do not produce CO2 in work, so there is no air pollution and growth of the Greenhouse Effect. Solar power once again proves that its development means** great prospects for the whole world**.