The Desalination Generation

Sea level rise due to climate change is an ever-growing concern to developing countries, particularly coastal communities, which are most vulnerable to this immediate threat. Globally, we are set to see a 0.5 metre rise this Century, but this could be as high as 2 metres if no action is taken.
Due to the inaction of developed global communities, those most vulnerable will likely have to accept this sea level rise and have to adapt to the oncoming changes to farmland and coastal urban communities. The majority of land under threat is located throughout developing countries across Asia, where chronic flooding is set to affect areas that contain 10% of their populations. Without adapting, these communities will likely become climate refugees.

A key crisis that communities will face is water scarcity and increased salinity in groundwater, consequently making it extremely difficult to grow crops on the land. To tackle this, a floating Architecture based around the process of solar desalination is developed, allowing communities most affected to rebuild.

The concept is a Low Tech meets High Tech approach. Constructed almost entirely out of treated bamboo, an extremely abundant structural resource throughout Asia. The structure is designed to be modular, allowing simple but effective expansion using traditional bamboo construction. Such techniques make the concept accessible to a variety of communities.
The structures are designed in a stepped formation much like the terraced farms of Asia and South America. This provides access to each level of all systems, as well as giving the overall structure maximum exposure to the sun. Each structure is also connected to a row of solar desalination pods that float alongside.
The floating structures are split into three categories, the communal/residential, the brine treatment/power generation facility and the solar desalination pods.
Desalination pods are designed to work passively in a low tech fashion utilising high exposure to solar. They are able to be constructed them cheaply and en masse so communities can pro-actively build and develop a plant without the need for expensive desalination filtration technology.
The facility is entirely dedicated to the treatment of waste brine water from the desalination process, rather than pumping it back into the sea (as most desalination plants do), it is cleaned via a closed loop algae bio-reactor system. This creates the by-products of a concentrated algae (that can be sold as biofuel/cosmetic products) and fresh water (which can be utilised in a hydroponic farming system). This provides communities living and working at the desalination plant with additional income, as well as an effective farming solution.

This project is unfortunately a dystopian one, in which it relies on the fact that many communities will be displaced and will have to consider adapting to a life such as this. With our current trends, many people are set to lose or see irreversible change in places they have called home, this project aims to make the most out of rebuilding from those dire times by giving a pragmatic approach to the predicted crisis.


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