Warka Water – An innovative way to extract water from the air
How about collecting pure water from air? Sounds interesting!! This is what an Italian designer did, when he saw the pathetic condition of women and children in Ethiopia, who are forced to walk miles every day for water. Arturo Vittori, who is the cofounder of Architecture And Vision, was determined to find a solution that would be simple, create local jobs, and provide clean water in these villages. Arturo Vittori and his colleague Andreas Vogler started a low cost project called Warka Water, to address the issue.
The project was named Warka Water, for the traditional ‘Warka’ trees which are vanishing from the landscape. The towers are made of bamboo and fabric to harvest potable water from the evening air. The 30-foot-tall, vase-shaped towers use special fabric hanging inside to collect water through the air via condensation.
The rigid outer housing of each tower is comprised of lightweight and elastic Juncus stalks, woven in a pattern that offers stability in the face of strong wind gusts while still allowing air to flow through. A mesh net made of nylon or polypropylene hanging inside, collects droplets of dew that form along the surface. As cold air condenses, the droplets roll down into a container at the bottom of the tower. The water in the container, then passes through a tube that functions as a faucet, carrying the water to those waiting on the ground.
The lightweight structure is designed with parametric computing, but can be built with local skills and materials by the village inhabitants. Each tower cost approximately $550, and can harvest 100 liters of water per day.
As per a report, people in the region spend 40 billion hours a year trying to find and collect water. And even when they find it, the water is often not safe, collected from ponds or lakes teeming with infectious bacteria, contaminated with animal waste or other harmful substances. Compared to all the earlier efforts, Warka Water is less expensive and can be easily-assembled.
Image Credit: kickstarter