Moving from water scarcity to abundance through solar-powered desalination on the Philippines

Moving from water scarcity to abundance through solar-powered desalination on the Philippines

Elemental Water Makers
2017/07/01 - 2018/02/01 Lu Luzon, Philippines Status: Completed

Fresh water is a prerequisite for sustainable development anywhere across the globe, making it a fundamental challenge that deserves global attention. While certain regions are fortunate to enjoy considerable time before current freshwater resources become scarce, other geographies such as remote coastal regions and SIDS are on the verge of critical levels of freshwater scarcity, limiting viability of livelihoods, let alone sustainable (economic) development. For the population of La Union, Luzon in the Philippines, the above challenges were significantly mitigated due to an innovative, renewables driven, decentralized solar desalination solutions provided by Elemental Water Makers and a local partner. The rural population, previously dependent on unsustainable and expensive ($6/m3) water sources of questionable quality, are now able to access high-quality drinking water at highly market-competitive rate of (1.3$/m3) while also reducing CO2 emission by 43%, equivalent to savings 11 tons of CO2/year. Apart from mitigating the direct pressure on fresh water resources, additional benefits arose out of the fact local populace took ownership of a water kiosk. The water kiosk is a symbol for the newly gained economic and ecological resilience, which was acquired through independent economic exploitation of a water kiosk, offering opportunities related to economic development and consequently that of self-development, especially for women and children. Through close collaboration with a local partner organization, local ownership was fostered, project implementation was done according to local governance and compliances, access to local resources was facilitated and ultimately operation and management remains in hands of the local population. The above impacts have made the water kiosk project a success, provides evidence for the promise and potential of renewable decentralized desalination solutions for remote/rural communities and provides inspiration for future ‘glocal’ partnerships promoting freshwater resources.


Posted on

January 28, 2019