Innovative solutions to the problem of water scarcity

We learn about our planet’s water cycle shortly after we start school, and indeed it seems simple that the air around us contains gaseous water, which is caused by evaporation from water surfaces that is visible to the naked eye, and once it is sufficiently cooled, it condenses, becomes liquid and drinkable again.

This principle is used by the device developed by the Israeli company WaterGen, which seems to create clean drinking water from thin air. The development was aimed at obtaining drinking water from the air at the lowest possible cost. The greatest advantage of the device is that it can be used straight away, without starting projects taking several decades in the countries located in the regions suffering from water scarcity. The water-producing device developed by the Israeli company uses electricity, and at 60% humidity and 26 degrees Celsius, it is capable of producing 3100 litres of drinking water in a single day. A smaller device can supply a family or an office, as under the same environmental conditions it can produce 15 litres of clean drinking water in a day.

The technology is such that the warmer the weather and the higher the humidity of the air, the more water the device is able to provide. It works fine in dry areas as long as the temperature is sufficiently high, which is generally the case in areas suffering water shortages, so the device can be a solution for the impacted regions of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

The theory of the water cycle was also used by the duo of industrial designers Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler, when they created their distillation tower named Warka Water in Ethiopia. The 9-metre tower built from bio-degradable materials resembling a sculpture or memorial at first glance was named after a kind of fig tree indigenous to Ethiopia. In some parts of Ethiopia, people need to walk six hours to get water, often of questionable quality.

The Warka Water structures collect the condensation resulting from variations in temperature in a container, thereby providing excellent quality drinking water for the people living in the vicinity. A single tower produces 94 litres of water per day on average, without the need for any additional source of energy. According to the designers, it is a particularly important feature that no electricity is required for producing the water, and no specialist knowledge is required for operating the device, which makes the towers operational and secure for the long term, and they can provide safe, healthy drinking water for the people living around them.


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