Newly developed QuenchSea is a low-cost, handheld machine with the potential to become a complete life-saver for water-related emergency situations and humanitarian crises. The device has the capacity to turn about one liter of seawater — and up to three liters in ideal conditions — into drinkable freshwater every hour using a manual system.

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The desalination device comes from London-based start-up Hydro Wind Energy, and the company is on a mission to donate 100 million units for humanitarian efforts by 2027. The innovative idea is part of an ambitious vision to help solve the world’s freshwater crisis.

Related: GoSun Flow is a portable water purifier and sanitation station powered by solar

small blue desalination device in the sand

Globally, there are 2 billion people living without access to clean water. Around two-thirds of the global population live in water-scarce areas, and 7 million die from water-related diseases each year. In the past, emergency situations would often mean resorting to boiling seawater in order to make the water potable. The QuenchSea provides a safe alternative that is not only fast and convenient, but affordable, making it one of the first of its kind.

person wearing blue desalination device attached to a backpack

Better yet, each purchase includes the donation of an extra device for humanitarian use by one of QuenchSea’s clean water partners. Even if you don’t need a device for yourself, the website offers opportunities to donate funds toward a purchase of one for a nonprofit organization.

diagram of desalination process

QuenchSea works by combining a hydraulic system, triple-filtration and reverse osmosis. There is an inbuilt ultrafiltration and microfiltration system inside that removes suspended solids, bacteria, viruses, parasites and microplastics from the seawater. An initial filter removes the majority of the sediments and particles before forcing the seawater through a pressurized 0.01 micron membrane to remove the rest of the contaminants. The final stage uses an advanced industrial reverse osmosis membrane containing pores small enough to filter pure water through while rejecting larger molecules, such as salt and bacteria.

small blue desalination device on a beach

While the global water crisis was the initial inspiration for the project, the QuenchSea device is designed for anyone to use. Whether you’re a sailor on the open ocean, a survivalist or a camper, the ease of use makes it an ideal companion to outdoor adventures. The device weighs just 1.5 pounds, fits into a small bag and is both durable and reusable. Need for additional filters vary depending on usage but will only cost about $10 to change.

+ QuenchSea

Images via QuenchSea