Harvesting Water From Air

water from the atmosphereAbout 70 percent of the earth is covered with water. But 97 percent of this water is in seas and oceans. This water is saline in nature and is not fit for human consumption. The amount of freshwater on Earth is very less. It is only 3 percent. Almost 99 percent of this freshwater is stored in ice caps, glaciers and very deep in water tables. Humans have access on just 1 percent of it.

Many countries are water stressed and about one-third of world’s population lives in these countries. As water is not readily accessible for humans in some parts of the world, so they use contaminated water which is the major cause of waterborne diseases. Waterborne diseases are leading cause of death in children under five. Use of such contaminated water can cause serious illness and can be fatal sometimes.

China 2nd National Water Assessment reports that 35.6 percent of drinkable water in china is not fit for drinking purpose. According to United Nations, there will be serious problem of water shortage by the year 2025 and about 66 percent of population will have to deal with it.

About 1.1 billion people living on the globe already suffer from a serious lack of fresh water. By 2025, this number will increase to three billion – over 40 percent of the entire population.

Water from the atmosphere

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has produced water from thin air

water from thin air technion

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has come up with a very good concept. Two architects worked on this and invented a low-tech way of collecting dew and turning it into fresh water. This is the ultimate way to collect unlimited supply of water even in most polluted areas. About 48 liters of fresh water can be extracted from air in a single day from one unit of 315 sq ft. This invention won an international competition recently.

Water from thin air – EWA Technologies Group

water from thin air ewa technologies group

Technology developed by an Israeli company, EWA (Extraction of Water from Air) extracts water from air, using very little energy. The application of solid desiccant technology is applied to get energy efficient water harvesting from air. It has a special condenser that can reuse 85 percent of energy input and saves energy. This system is compatible with various Renewable sources such as bio fuel, solar power, heat from organic matter etc.

Clean Water from Air with EcoloBlue

ecoloblue atmospheric water generator

Atmospheric water generators (AWG) are used to get water from the air. These EcoloBlue AWG provides about 7 gallons of clean water per day. These AWGs work best at a humidity of 50 percent or more and can reduce the effects of a hot and humid climate indoors.

Watermill harvests fresh water out of air


This device called Element Four’s Watermill not only generates water but also filters the water and makes it clean and fit for consumption. In ideal conditions, this device can generate 3.2 gallons of clean water every day. This is very cost-effective- 11 cents per gallon.

DropNet Fog Collector provides potable water from thin air and mist

dropnet fog collector

A student, Imke Hoehler from Germany’s Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, generated drinking water from Mist and Thin Air. This method, dubbed the DropNet, harvests about 20 litres of potable water daily.

The Fog Collectors: Harvesting Water From Air


A Canadian non-profit named Fog Quest harvests potable water not only for drinking purposes but also for irrigation and reforestation by using a  fog collector. It can even be used in deserts and areas that receive less than 1mm rain. These fog collectors look like volleyball nets between two poles and are made of polypropylene that captures tiny water droplets. The tiny droplets of fog cling to net, after which it falls into gutter and then to collected in a water tank.

MIT fog collector provides clean water from air

fog harvesting

Many water scarce countries are helped by the MIT team by improving water systems and helping them to harvest water from fog. Inspired by the Namib Beetle, which collects fog on its back, Shreerang Chhatre from MIT says his design is an improved version of the beetle’s water harvesting system. [Watch this video which shows how the beetle harvests water in the Namib Desert]

Source: (Edited, abbreviated) Ecofriend (Zeba Sufyan)

Also see Mountain fog used to provide water, Atmospheric Water Generator: water from air! and How to obtain water in a survival situation.

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