I have never been much of an environmental person or an activist, perhaps because I find the whole field extremely overwhelming, even more than human rights and conflict, go figure. With climate change and the other ways humans are destroying our planet, I have a very bleak perspective and hope in the field and of our future.

However, the session with Professor Jeff Langolz made me very optimistic about the field, and renewed my faith on technology and human capabilities to innovate. The fact that one can now make water out of thin air – or more like thick air – is astounding and inspiring. Harnessing energy and resources that are abundantly available and reusable will be revolutionary for the environment and human kind and I am at least positive my children will not be thirsty.

However, things such as solar panels and grey and black water filters are not cheap, especially for developing nations and governments that are already struggling with corruption and inefficient governance. Moreover, with the lack of awareness about sanitation and how such things work, it will be difficult to get the community to buy into the idea of recycling and reusing. Although cheap alternatives have started to be created the process will be long and will need to be accompanied by large scale educational campaigns.