An eco-friendly buoy turns seawater into drinking water

SAROS is a simple and environmentally friendly alternative to costly, energy-wasting desalination plants.

A lack of sufficient and sustainable water resources is a harsh reality for some and a passing concern for others. According to National Geographic, “while nearly 70 per cent of the world is covered by water, only two point five per cent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based”. This sobering statistic begs the question, how are we to find sustainable ways of turning seawater into clean, potable water?

SAROS (Swell Actuated Reverse Osmosis System) could be such a solution. The invention of college graduates, Chris Matthews and Justin Sonnett, SAROS is a water desalinator that turns seawater into fresh, drinking water through a process that is solely powered by ocean waves.

The actual product is a system of high-pressure pumps, attached to a buoy. The pumps are powered by natural energy, drawn from the motion of the waves. Seawater is pulled into the pumps at a high pressure, through a type of filter layer that removes any pollutants or salt, and then stored as clean water in a fitted tank.

Apart from being an environmentally friendly invention, SAROS is also an affordable, portable and accessible alternative to costly desalination plants, and can produce 2 000 gallons of clean water per day. Matthews and Sonnett see SAROS as a feasible solution for developing countries, disaster-relief situations, or any coastal communities.