The SEA Panel is a simple, plastic device, which when placed in sunlight and filled with nondrinkable water, will produce pure, distilled water.
“One of the biggest likely areas of future conflict is going to be over water.”
-- Retired U.S. General Charles F. Wald, former deputy, commander ofU.S. European Command
If fresh water was being born as fast as all of those cute little babies, then we could do something other than desalination. But the world's population is increasing and our sources of ground and surface water are decreasing ... lakes shrink, wells run dry. The river that used to supply a few thousand people and ten farms now has to supply tens of thousands of people and hundreds of farms.
Is this a crisis? Not to us. We look at the growing need for water as an opportunity for people to get a little closer to the way nature makes fresh water, through the sea and the sun. And for all the design work, computer simulations and physics, our technology is only the crudest imitation of the most perfect desalination technology, Mother Nature's. But we like to think that she would approve of SEA Panels, because they catch the rain the way aquifers do, they purify water the way the atmosphere does, they manage salt the way the ground does, and they do it all the way she does, with just a little sun energy.
Desalination is poised to become a key industry as Fortune 100 companies invest billions to satisfy the world's thirst. We have no doubt that the massive projects these companies implement will be crucial to global health and economy. But we see a slightly different side of the future of desalination, where people who need water for their homes, businesses and crops have access to simple, patented technology to make that water from either sea water or polluted ground water.
SEA Desalination's mission is water for people. We believe in technology that can be deployed by someone without specialized training. We believe that advanced technology should be field repairable with a roll of duct-tape. We believe in spending years on the drawing table, and tuning the forces of nature to exploit the laws of physics. We believe that the most powerful tools of social change are the ones that people can touch, the ones that people trust to improve their lives, and the ones that let people sleep easy.
The Solar Evaporation Array is our hammer, our anvil, or thread and our needle, it is the tool that people will use to help feed their children.
-- Mike Wofsey, 6/13/08
Photo by Laura Shill, University Relations The University of Alabama