Water is the most fundamental psychological need, as pointed out in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Science has also proven that we cannot live for more than three days without water, even though we can last without food for about three weeks.
However, 2.2 billion out of the 7.6 billion people on the planet have no access to safe drinking water, with water sources such as rivers and lakes drying up, polluted, or wasted in inefficient agricultural methods.
Considerable effort has been expended to help communities around the world with little to no access to fresh water. One such effort is the use of a solar still, which uses basic science concepts to draw water out of the atmosphere. Since it uses the sun’s heat directly and does not need solar cells to generate electricity, the cost of such a device is very low.
It functions by replicating the water cycle. To be more specific, the moisture inside the still evaporates due to the sun’s heat and condenses upon cooling down, producing water. Solar stills are in no way perfect, as they currently have a slow rate of conversion. However, they do offer the most convenient and affordable way to get fresh drinking water in rural areas.