Source hydropanels make water with using the sun and air.
Source hydropanels make water with using the sun and air. Contributed

Bundy region island chosen for groundbreaking program

IT'S not just the reef and its inhabitants Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is intent on saving.

The environmentally-friendly success story is well known for its solar aspirations and has just added another string to its bow.

The resort has been chosen as a demonstration site for Source Hydropanels, manufactured by Zero Mass Water.

The panels have been designed so that only sunlight and air are needed to make safe, drinkable water.

Eco Resort general manager Peter Gash (right).
Eco Resort general manager Peter Gash (right). Australia Zoo

The project has partial funding by Australian Renewable Energy Agency as part of Arena's Advancing Renewable Program.

A total of eight panels have been installed at the resort, which run completely off-grid and are self-contained, using advanced water capture technology. On a sunny day, the installation can replace up to 60 standard plastic water bottles.

The water is mineralised with calcium and magnesium to achieve its taste, while the combination of electrolytes helps with hydration.

After observing the water production rate on Lady Elliot Island, the company is hoping to locate some panels at the Lighthouse and possibly Coral Gardens, as well as keeping some in the resort to produce drinking water for guests.

Establishing the resort as a trial site makes sense given its dedication to be entirely self-sufficient and its actions to protect the reef.

The resort made headlines in April when the Prince of Wales paid a visit, then, a year ago, it was awarded Climate Action Leader certification under Ecotourism Australia.

Ecotourism Australia awards the certification to businesses that incorporate strategic climate change responses across their business including having a carbon footprint through a creditable system; have undertaken an advanced level of adaptation, emissions reduction and offsetting strategies; and are working towards becoming carbon neutral.

At the time the resort had increased its solar contribution to 475 solar panels and introduced a Flying Green Carbon Offset Program in partnership with Greenfleet to offset the carbon emissions from flights to and from the island by planting native forests at the Barolin Nature Reserve, adjacent to the Mon Repos Turtle Rookery in Bundaberg.

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