A mini aluminum container that can hold 2,500 liters of water could be on the market in a few years.
A new report from the International Aluminum Association says a mini aluminum-coated container with a capacity of 2,000 liters would be on sale in the U.S. in 2019, and in the next 10 years.
That’s a big deal.
“Small containers are a critical element of a water-efficient society,” says Andrea Czarnowski, the chief economist at IAA.
The IAA says a water saving of at least 80 per cent is required for people to live in cities, and 90 per cent for people who live in rural areas.
“Smaller containers, which are more accessible, are much more effective in the way they save water,” Czarkowski says.
Czarnowski says small containers are an example of what the industry is working toward, and the market is very strong.
For example, the US.
Food and Drug Administration approved a product called the Silly Pile to store water and other liquids, including fruit juice.
The U.K. has also seen an uptick in interest in mini containers.
In a report published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the British government said it will test out the Solly Pile in a water conservation trial in 2019.
Some cities are also looking at mini containers for water conservation.
An Italian company called Nivel is also developing a water container that uses an “aluminum alloy” to make it lighter and cheaper.
But some environmentalists are not convinced about mini containers and the idea of drinking water from a bottle.
Why should we be worried about mini drinking containers?
“It’s a really, really big question,” says Brian C. McKean, a hydrologist at Texas A&M University.
McKean says the mini containers have a high potential for being a water tank, but he cautions they are not designed to be the size of a large water tank.
They are, in fact, designed to fit inside a plastic container and are not as portable as a traditional water tank would be.
McKeans research indicates the mini container could be more than just a water storage device, though.
Water is a big part of the human diet, McKeans study shows, so we should be concerned about the water consumption associated with drinking mini containers, and he warns the technology is still a little overhyped.
He says there is a real need for new water conservation technology.
“I would not want people to put a plastic bottle in a mini-water tank and expect it to survive the next few years,” McKeann says.