Quiet drinking water revolution underway in Baltic Sea as island nature reserve goes off the water grid
Stockholm, Sweden, July 17, 2018 – A Swedish Baltic island renowned for its natural beauty is quietly shifting away from its old water access model towards a self-reliant, local generation approach that creates on-demand clean drinking water direct from the sea.
With aquifer reserves depleting fast due to the annual influx of 600,000 people every summer, the revolution in water harvesting on hugely popular Sandhamn Island, just two hours boat ride from Stockholm, the Swedish capital, is being spurred by the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS) and global water tech leader Bluewater.
“We have used our ingenuity and technology to create a unique water harvesting and delivery system that turns brackish sea water into safe, fresh water on an island with just 90 full-time inhabitants that is experiencing aquifer exhaustion due to the huge number of visitors,” said Bluewater founder Bengt Rittri, a Swedish environmental entrepreneur.
He said Sandhamn is just one of the 200 inhabited islands of some 30,000 islands in the Stockholm archipelago that are increasingly suffering water scarcity due to unsustainable demands placed upon the natural water reserves. The initiative has won the blessing of local authorities keen to reduce dependence on costly outmoded large-scale water delivery models and unsustainable single use plastic water bottles.
“Our micro renewable water generation grid creates a self-sustaining system capable of producing nearly 30,000 liters per day ending the need for visiting yachts at the KSSS Harbour and other tourists to use Sandhamn’s local water supply,” Said Magnus Woxén, Head of Operations at KSSS, which manages Sandhamn’s highly popular marina for summer visitors. The initiative follows a successful pilot in 2017 harnessing just one hydration station.
The Bluewater technology being used on Sandhamn harnesses four compact Bluewater Pro water purifiers designed to handle brackish water. Each water purifier is able to generate 7,000 liters per day, which is then pumped into an inline series of 3 cisterns for onward delivery to a group of centrally located water points in the marina. A freestanding Bluewater hydration station delivers chilled still and sparkling water to visitors.
“We are moving towards a day when we won’t need to build and rely solely on large-scale water plants. Instead, we will have distributed water solutions where small water supply systems are in place near the point of consumption, which will be able to harvest water from multiple sources such as rain water, brackish water or surface water not deemed fit for human consumption previously, while also slashing the need for non-sustainable bottle water,” Bluewater President Anders Jacobson said.
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Bluewater is currently offering up to one million dollars in prize money in a global innovation challenge for urban water scarcity. The Bluewater Imagine H2O 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challengerepresents an exciting opportunity to unleash ‘waterpreneurs’ to help people and urban authorities in mega-cities manage water resources in an age of growing scarcity. With entries closing on July 2, the initiative is open to entrepreneurs developing promising solutions related to Alternative Supply, Distributed Access and Delivery and, Ecosystem Health. The three winners will be showcased on August 27 at a special event during Stockholm Water Week, in the Swedish capital.