Water Maker19 March 2009
The Water Maker consists of a salt water pump, a desalination unit and a portable diesel generator. The unit turns salt water into safe drinking water using a filtration system. Development of the Water Maker has been a combined initiative managed by New Zealand Red Cross with expert assistance from Auckland based company General Marine. New Zealand Red Cross aid worker Victoria Fray has been part of the team designing the unit, with help from her employer Opus International, and was in Vanuatu in 2005 following the emergency with volcanic ash fallout. Ms Fray says the individual desalination unit was initially purchased in 2005 to be used in Vanuatu. The unit was transported to the area and Ms Fray says it was a wonder it wasnft damaged during the transportation as it was a relatively fragile piece of machinery which came with no protective casing. Following the emergency, the unit was returned to New Zealand where the first plans were laid for upgrading the unit into a robust and mobile Water Maker. Working together with General Marine, a diesel generator and salt water pump were added to the desalination unit, all within a protective casing creating the Water Maker. Ms Fray says the unit is a first for the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and will be a great tool for delivering safe drinking water to small communities during an emergency. gThis unit is the first of its type for Red Cross. We did some research before building it trying to gain some knowledge from other Red Cross Societies that may have done something similar but we couldnft find any,h says Ms Fray.