Photo via Darwin Bell
The next big crisis isn't going to be how to get renewable energy across the power lines, or how to turn our full landfills into fuel sources. It's going to be how to get a sip of water. An impending water crisis is believed to be inevitable - the World Health Organization already notes that 2.4 billion people now live in highly water-stressed areas, and California and Australia's major droughts are front-page news. Oasys Water expects to be in the trenches with their desalination technology as water comes in shorter supply. The start-up just received $10 million in funding, proving that the technology is definitely of interest. Flagship Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson pulled together to invest $10 million in the new company during Series A funding. Oasys Water uses Engineered Osmosis, a technology that uses reportedly 90 percent less fuel than high-pressure Reverse Osmosis - the technology commonly used for desalination. Considering a major road block for large scale desalination has been its energy intensive requirements, this sounds like a promising new company.
Making desalination more efficient has been on the front burner for a lot of researchers, though real application is yet to be seen for many of the breakthroughs. With significant funding from investors, perhaps Oasys Water can show us measurable progress in desalination.
"Water shortages are no longer a 'far-away' problem," said Aaron Mandell, President and CEO of Oasys. "California is currently facing the worst drought it has ever seen and cannot maintain the minimum water necessary to sustain living standards. The problem is exacerbated by the rising cost of electricity, as water production is already the single largest use of California's electrical grid."
More on Desalination and the Water Crisis
Drinking with the Wind: Wind-Powered Seawater Desalination
Ottawa Student Could Make Water Desalination 600-700% More Efficient
Researchers Develop Chlorine-Tolerant Membrane for Easy Desalination
Global Warming Will Worsen West's Water Crisis in Coming Years
Water Crisis Scenarios For The US Southeast