A company on Canada’s west coast wants to buy a U.S. firm that uses solar energy to desalinate water.KELOWNA, British Columbia, CA, 2001-08-10 [SolarAccess.com] A company on Canada’s west coast wants to buy a U.S. firm that uses solar energy to desalinate water. Hyaton Organics says it has reached an agreement to acquire Sunspring Inc. of Nevada, a company that was formed to convert seawater or brackish water into potable water for human consumption. The corporate goal was to keep the price of desalination inexpensive enough for agricultural purposes. Sunspring’s assets primarily consist of intellectual property rights for the conversion process and include certain patents or patents-pending and exclusive global licenses to use patented concepts designed by XSEL. The assets also include existing proof-of-theory prototypes and equipment, parts, supplies located at Sunspring’s facilities in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The process, called ‘H20 NOW,’ minimizes the cost of energy by using solar collectors attached to a transducer to collect and store the solar energy which, in turn, is attached to a reverse osmosis system. The system has been designed to use its own solar collector or other off-the-shelf solar collectors. Hyaton must provide at least $1 million in working capital for use by Reed Jensen and Melvin Pruett, formerly with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, to proceed with the continued development of Sunspring’s technologies. The acquisition is the first step in Hyaton’s proposed corporate strategy of becoming an international provider of alternative solutions to the global water crisis. The target is to produce fresh water at less than US$0.50 per 1,000 gallons ($0.13 per cubic meter). Most reverse osmosis plants currently cost $3 to $6 per 1,000 gallons, depending on the size of the plant and the cost of local energy. A United Nations study estimates that two thirds of the world will soon be under ‘water stress’ from water deprivation and chronic shortages, due to accelerated demand from growing population and the depletion of available water due to pollution of aquatic ecosystems and groundwater aquifers. The U.N. has estimated that the cost of averting this water crisis will require annual expenditures of $75 billion, rising to $180 billion by 2005 when world population reaches 8.3 billion. Countries most at risk are developing nations in Asia, South and Central America, Africa and East Europe.