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There is groundwater in Australia’s desiccated outback, but its high salinity and mineral content often make it undrinkable. And for the region’s many tiny communities, water treatment facilities are prohibitively expensive to build. Aurecon and Ampcontrol, an engineering and design firm and an electronics manufacturer, respectively, teamed up to devise a solution called Gilghi (“place of water” in Australia’s Barkindji indigenous language). Gilghi is a solar-powered treatment system that filtrates water through reverse osmosis; it’s lightweight and simple enough to fit in a single shipping container, can be installed in just two days, and can process up to 250,000 liters of water a day. The first Gilghi system, in the Northern Territory hamlet of Gillen Bore, has now been running successfully for two years with virtually no downtime. Its creators aim to re-create the system in other drought-stricken areas, in regions with contaminated groundwater, and in island communities (since Gilghi can convert seawater into fresh water).
Courtesy of Aurecon/Ampcontrol
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