Making clean water from the sun

The Boston Globe profiles Prof. Amos Winter and Tata Fellow Natasha Wright, who are building a solar desalination system to bring clean water to villages in India.

amos natasha

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“An engineering team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology headed to the deserts of New Mexico last weekend, in a high-tech showdown that could help resolve the global water crisis.

Amos Winter, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, and doctoral student Natasha Wright squared off against four rival teams in a competition to develop better techniques to extract salt from water. The goal of the contest, sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bureau of Reclamation, is a simple, inexpensive system to provide clean water to rural communities across the developing world.

“It’s a two-billion-person problem,” Winter said. “That’s a pretty motivating problem.”

Winter and Wright work at MIT’s Global Engineering and Research Lab, or GEAR, which designs technical solutions tailored for use in developing countries. The desalination project is being backed by Jain Irrigation Systems Inc. of India and by MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, which researches technologies for developing countries.”

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