News - February 4, 2010

Mobile water-makers for Haiti

VHL action to provide mobile water purification units for Haiti. Appliances were developed by Environmental Sciences lecturer in Leeuwarden.

A mobile water purification unit
'The idea to send 'water-makers' to Haiti came from a colleague of mine. Then a campaign was started at VHL Leeuwarden that soon took off. The VHL management have provided two units', says Leo Groendijk, Environmental Sciences lecturer at Leeuwarden. They have now collected more than 30 thousand euros, enough to buy 18 units and send them to the Dominican Republic. Collecting tins for the campaign can be found in a number of Wageningen UR buildings.
The mobile water-maker was invented by Groendijk himself. Over the past three years VHL students and the company Bright Spark in Joure have been developing it further.  A mobile water purification appliance is capable of producing between three hundred and six hundred litres of clean drinking water per day using surface water. The device weights twenty kilos and has roughly the dimensions of a crate of beer. The energy needed to purify the water is supplied by a built-in solar panel and the ceramic purification membranes are cleaned using a bicycle pump.
Groendijk will leave with the first batch of water-makers on Thursday 4 February. 'We will be transporting eight appliances to Haiti from the Dominican Republic and then distributing them among three aid organizations. I am personally accompanying the first shipment to make sure the appliances get there safely and ensure they are used properly', explains Groendijk. 'We are in contact with the Leeuwarden airbase to arrange the second delivery. They are currently providing aid flights to Haiti.'