Making Water out of Thin air is Already a Reality
04.12.2018| by in
Only 1% of the world’s water supply is fresh and liquid, and most of it is underground. The rest of the world’s water is either salt (97%) or frozen in the North and South Poles (2%).
We are facing a water crisis. There’s a deep inequality in the distribution of water around the world. Wars had been caused due to the droughts, like in Nigeria, and projections show that conflicts over the resource tend to increase in the future. Also, big cities such as Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Barcelona will be facing their day zero in the next 20 to 30 years, where there will be no water in the pipes.
Water is the most basic human need, and yet, we keep polluting rivers and using it like it has no value, due to the easy access. On average over 30% of all water that travels through a distribution system is wasted due to leaking in the pipes.
As the world population grew, so dit the water consumption, increasing seven-fold over the last century. Due to climate change, the rain and snow that used to fill rivers are more scarce, forcing us to increasingly rely on extraction water from aqueducts. But retrieving water from the soil carries major environmental consequences.
It took thousands of years for these aqueducts to fill, and it will take the same amount of time for them to fill back again. In addition to using more water than can be replenished, underground water extraction causes compression of the soil, driving urban areas to literally sink.
The other most widely known technology to retrieve fresh water from a different source is desalinization. But this process is very expensive and requires a lot of energy. A new solution has been recently presented as a cheaper and environmentally friendlier way to extract water, a project named Zero Mass Water developed a system to use air and sun to make potable water.
The Source Water is produced by extracting humidity from the air, this vapor is then condensed into water and then transferred
to a reservoir where it is mineralized. The whole process is powered by solar panels.
The goal of this project is to provide independence to people regarding water. You can produce it in your home, using solar energy, regardless of the water distribution nets. According to their CEO Cody Friesen they “want to guarantee access to safe drinking water for every person in the world, and fundamentally change the human relationship to water.”
On the video below you can check the company’s social initiatives around the world to provide water where the resource is scarce.
Cover Picture by: Lisa Fotios