LONDON — The small Maldivian island of Guhli now has its first desalination unit utilizing the waste heat of the local power generator to produce up to 10 tons of drinking water per day through membrane distillation, according to a press release.

The project was developed by the local power company STELCO in a joint venture with Aquiva Foundation, which won a tender in 2013 asking to desalinate water utilizing the waste heat available on all Maldivian Islands, noted the release.

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There are no natural potable water sources on Guhli other than seasonal rain making the island reliant on water imports, the release reported, so water produced through this new technology will be used to reliably provide water to the island's 1,200 inhabitants.

According to the release, the desalination plant taps into the cooling cycle of local diesel generators to retrieve the thermal heat that is otherwise wasted into the air, which drives a desalination process under vacuum resulting in high purity distillate water.

“This project shows our efforts to provide environmentally sustainable solutions which improve the conditions for our people using breakthrough technologies,” said the Maldivian Energy Minister Thoriq Ibrahim.