Buoy makes fresh water, powered by waves

Darcy Hitchcock

Coastal communities may consider desalination as a way to meet their water needs, but it’s expensive and energy intensive. The Oneka “Snowflake” is a interesting alternative.

The buoy can be anchored in 35 foot water up to two miles offshore. Waves (3-10 feet) power it. The current model can produce 10,000 liters of drinking water a week.

Because they can be quickly deployed, they could be used in disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti where 800,000 people were infected with cholera, and 9000 died from it.

Oneka is working on a larger model called Iceberg that could serve small communities. Like any desalination system, it produces brine, a saltier solution than seawater, so it would be important to consider impacts on the surrounding environment.


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