Up to one billion people in developing communities could have access to clean drinking water in the future thanks to new breakthrough technology. The breakthrough technology is called Atmospheric Water Harvester (AWH). The device uses solar energy to condense water from the humid air around it. A team of researchers at X, a scientific company in the US developed the AWH, led by researcher Jackson Lord. Although the company is at the beginning of their journey, they hope that the technology can be expanded on in the future. Their goal is for the technology to be used to create completely off-grid water systems in local communities in many parts of the developing world.
There are up to 2.2 billion people worldwide who do not have access to regular safe drinking water. The U.N. has set sustainable development goals that everyone should have access to at least 5 litres of safe drinking water each day.
Jackson Lord and his team has also created a geospatial tool called “AWH-Geo”, which, put in simple terms, uses historical climate data and Google Earth to identify suitable locations for water harvesting. The team combined this with data from the World Health Organization and UNICEF (which tells us how many people are without access to safe drinking water). The team was then able to estimate that with “AWH-Geo” and the Solar AWH Technology it could bring us a step closer to the U.N. goal and be able to supply up to 5 liters of clean water for one billion people.
The researchers are now developing an improved device that they believe could provide cost-effective, completely off-grid access to high quality drinking water for many communities in the developing world. You can read more about the teams work on nature.com