On-site renewables to power Moroccan ‘space age’ water treatment

A Moroccan university and a nearby village are to get clean drinking water from a new water treatment facility run on on-site solar and wind power.

After nitrate-rich fertilisers used in farming rendered local groundwater undrinkable, the European Space Agency (ESA) teamed with UNESCO and the University of Kenitra for a project to supply clean water to the university and the village of Sidi Taibi.

German solar firm Belectric teamed with French water treatment company Firmus to build the water treatment facility, which uses the same technology used in space to recycle waste water and urine into clean drinking water. Its output will initially supply 1200 students at the university, with excess water and power to be supplied to the surrounding community.  

If the system is successful, the ESA said, it will be scaled up by a factor of 10 to provide clean water to a wider area.

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