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n the Massacusetts Institute of Technology’s idea of the future, there’s a large portable desalination system that will provide 1,000 gallons of water per day to third world villages, at a cost of $8,000 per device.

But right now they’re done inventing a smaller, 80 gallon per day version, that is very portable and functions entirely on solar power.

The system’s photovoltaic panel fuels the pump that pushes saltwater through a membrane that’s permeable to H20 but not larger particles. Remove the salt and other minerals, and seawater becomes drinkable.

While the smaller version is available now and can prove to be a solution for small communities, MIT claims a dozen of the larger 1,000 gallon systems will fit into a single C-130 cargo plane and sustain more than 10,000 people, a scenario which brings to mind the sudden refugee camps found in conflict zones worldwide.

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