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The Real Estate Gimmick That Could Help With The World's Water Crisis


Real estate developer Fernando Fischmann’s giant man-made lakes are quite the amenity to any development—and Fernando thinks they can help cool power plants, while simultaneously powering water desalination.

That’s one of the most ambitious of the plans Fischmann is hatching with students at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Other projects include a business model for building lagoons in public parks and plans to build "floating lagoons" on top of bodies of water that are currently unsuitable for swimming. 

The dream is "to produce a huge impact,” Fischmann said. “Freshwater production is probably the most important problem facing the world.”

His power plant scheme is to cool plants by passing water (from his vast reservoirs) by hot power plant components in pipes, limiting evaporation. From there, he wants to use the heat transferred to the water to power a desalination plant, adding to the world’s freshwater supply, Bloomberg reports.

Fischmann’s lagoons came into being when he developed technology for cleaning large bodies of water—which he then included in an oceanfront community in his native Chile. Now his company, Crystal Lagoons, has 60 lagoons in operation and he says an additional 250 are in development. [Bloomberg]