The global population and demand for (drinking) water is growing at an unprecedented pace. And in the meantime, our planet is increasingly confronted by the challenges of climate change.
Drought, desertification and in general the rising temperatures are affecting our environment. Changes in our way of living are necessary and we urgently need to come up with solutions that allow humankind to look at the future with hope and optimism.
While the world’s population is closing in on 8 billion, human impact on the planet is becoming harder to ignore with each passing year. Our cities, infrastructure, agriculture, and pollution are some of the forms of stress we place on the natural world, and researchers estimate that at present 14.6% (18.5 million km²) of land area has been modified. Draws attention that most of these modified areas are near natural sources of freshwater. Good example is Egypt, where 95% of its 102 million inhabitants live along the banks of the Nile and in the Nile Delta on just 2.4% of the country’s total surface.
This illustrates how important it is that we find alternative water resources. Technologies that can be used for drinking in off-grid locations and allow for agriculture and nature to revive in deserted places.
In April 2018 we invited a very special person to our DBC lunch. The Dutch artist and inventor Ap Verheggen. Since this visit to Madrid, we followed Ap closely and watched with great expectation and interest the evolution of his Sunglacier project. When his invention became the key part of the Dutch pavilion at the latest World Expo in Dubai, many of us celebrated this milestone. A solar powered “water from air unit”, installed on the roof of the pavilion producing up to 1200 litres of fresh and clean water every day. A huge innovation that could change the future of humankind was presented for a worldwide audience.
Just 2 weeks ago, on the 31st of March, the curtain came down on the Expo 2020 and we found Ap willing and available to attend at our next DBC lunch. He will share with us the experiences he had in Dubai, the latest developments, and perspectives for upscaling the Sunglacier production, as well as the project he recently launched with the Dutch singer and songwriter Janieck.
This past winter, a climate change-induced extreme drought devastated the crops in Spain, and we consider that the subject for our next lunch is of special importance and interest for our host country. Therefore, the Spanish friends of the DBC are also kindly invited to our lunch on the 3rd of May.