A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air
When Italian designer Arturo Vittori and Swiss architect Andreas Vogler first visited Ethiopia in 2012, they were shocked to see women and children forced to walk miles for water.
Only 34 percent of Ethiopians have access to a reliable water supply. Some travel up to six hours a day to fetch some or, worse, resorts to using stagnant ponds contaminated by human waste, resulting in the spread of disease.
Worldwide, a whopping 768 million people — two and a half times the U.S. population — don’t have access to safe drinking water. So just imagine if we could just pull water out of thin air?
That’s what Vittori and Vogler asked once they saw the magnitude of problem and vowed to take action. Their firm, Architecture and Vision, has since come up with WarkaWater, a majestic palm-like structure that may look like something you’d see in a modern art museum but it’s been designed to harvest water from the air.
WarkaWater, which is named after an Ethiopian fig tree, is composed of a 30-foot bamboo frame containing a fog-harvesting nylon net that can be easily lowered for repairs and to allow communities to measure the water level.
Collecting water through condensation is hardly a new technique, but the creators of WarkaWater say their tree-inspired design is more effective, maximizing surface and optimizing every angle to produce up to 26 gallons of drinkable water a day — enough for a family of seven.
Photo: The WarkaWater gathers water from fog and condensation. Named after an Ethiopian fig tree, it consists of a 30-foot bamboo frame and a nylon net. It was invented by an Italian firm and three of them are shown here in an Ethiopian village. (Courtesy of Architecture and Vision)