Delft University of Technology brings a solution for better water supply to Ambergris Caye

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

As part of their studies in international entrepreneurship and development at Delft University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands, Dann Dutilh, Wietse Schaefer and Reinout Sterk visited Ambergris Caye on Sunday, January 7th. While on the island they meet with many hospitality stake holders to raise awareness and sensitize them on how to produce their own water through the process of desalination while using renewable power.
For the past two months, the students in collaboration with Elemental Water Makers have visited various parts of the country including Hopkins, Belmopan, Placencia, Caye Caulker among others locations, educating business owners on how to produce their own water by utilizing the unlimited resources of the earth. “We focus mainly on businesses as they are the ones that consume the majority of water,” said Schaefer. Desalination is the process of extracting salt components from sea water through a desalination reverse osmosis system in order to produce drinking water. According to Schaefer, Belize Consolidated Water, uses up to five thousand gallons of diesel per day at their desalination process. “It has a negative impact on the environment as the burned fossil fuels contribute to global warming. A better way is for water to be desalinated using solar and wind energy,” he said.
According to the Delft University team, other advantages that resorts will get by desalinating their own water apart from being an eco-friendly solution is that they will have a reliable and independent water supply, stress-free operations and remote monitoring. “Most importantly, up to 70% will be saved on water expenses, as no diesel will be utilized or other costly components but rather the earth’s resources”. In addition, the extra cost to transport water to resorts north of San Pedro Town will be eliminated. “Residents north of San Pedro Town would also benefit from this project, as the flow of water in their pipes would increase, and even expand the residential water supply,” said Dutilh.
The price of these systems depends on the size, since they are scalable to almost any required demand and also the production of water. The bigger the system is the more potable water will be produced. Therefore, resorts don’t necessary require large tanks for water storage.
According to the team, the installation of these systems is very easy. They can be installed within a week using their expertise in combination with local workers. Thereafter, the maintenance will be mostly done by the resorts current maintenance workers, as its advance technology allows remote monitoring. The team also alleges that once the systems are installed the cost of production will depend on multiple factors. If you are using mostly solar panels but still connected to the Belize Energy Limited grid power, you will be producing 1000 gallons of water for $ 12. They further mentioned that they have tried all possible ways to reach out to the BWS on the island to explain to them how they can produce water in a more eco-friendly way, but all attempts have been unsuccessful.
The Delft University team has visited over 25 resorts in San Pedro Town, as to present them with their project on how they can produce their own water. The team hopes that these resorts will implement their eco-friendly desalination project and start thinking of all the positive impacts that it will have on both their business and the environment. For more information on the Delft University Water Project you can call 622-7717 or email [email protected]

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