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21 June, 2021

Hydropanels provide water to Whitsunday schools

TWO schools in the Whitsundays region now have access to sustainable drinking water through new state-of-the-art technology.

Australia’s leading rural charity, Rural Aid, has partnered with Evolution Mining to provide SOURCE® Hydropanels to the Merinda State School and Collinsville State High School. 

This technology uses only the power of the sun to tap into the abundant supply of pure water vapour in the air to deliver high-quality drinking water free of infrastructure.

Rural Aid Philanthropy and Development Manager Craig Marsh said the technology will improve the lives of North Queensland students. 

“These pupils now have access to the highest quality, sustainably produced water,” Mr Marsh said. 

“Rural Aid is committed to the sustainability of rural communities with the help of outstanding corporate partners.”

Evolution Mining’s Health, Safety and Community Manager at Mount Carlton, Mark Brown, said Evolution is proud of its ongoing partnership with Rural Aid.

“We are very happy to support the first hydropanels in North Queensland in the schools and region near our Mount Carlton operation, which will help to create a more sustainable and resilient local community,” Mark Brown said. 

An array of 20 hydropanels have been installed at Collinsville State High School and 10 at Merinda State School, capable of supporting 130 and 50 students and teachers respectively.

Merinda State School Principal Ryan Gilmour said his school is extremely fortunate to have the hydropanels. 

“The delicious-tasting drinking water is certainly popular with all the students, staff and visitors. We can’t thank Rural Aid, SOURCE Global and Evolution Mining enough for bringing this amazing project to our school community,” Mr Gilmour said.

Collinsville State High School Principal Anna Reeves acknowledged the educational benefits for students.

“With Australia being a very dry continent, this technology will allow people in remote locations to extract water from the water vapour in the air, which is more sustainable and environmentally responsible than using disposable plastic water bottles, or extracting water from the ground. With students able to observe how this innovative technology works, they will be able to promote its uptake,” Mrs Reeves said. 

SOURCE Global’s Chief Revenue Officer Rob Bartrop agreed the cutting-edge technology is a win for the environment, and for students; a single hydropanel can offset up to 54,750 plastic bottles over its 15-year lifetime.

“The use of decentralised, renewable technologies like SOURCE give regional and remote parts of Australia the opportunity to become healthier and more resilient, while avoiding the cost, waste and inconvenience of single use plastic bottles,” Mr Bartrop said. 

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