The air-to-water technology is likely to help thousands and millions of people across the world in the coming years.
Would you believe us if we told you there was a way to make water by pulling vapor from the atmosphere and fill your faucets with water? Chances are, you most definitely wouldn't. That's what these Navajo Nation families thought too. The situation is so dire that nearly 40% of the homes in the community still live without running water and residents often need to drive to the nearest towns to get a regular supply of water for their daily use. Thanks to Zero Mass Water's Source hydro panels, however, a few of these houses get up to 10 liters of water on a daily basis—at no cost, reports Fast Company. The project, funded by a grant offered by Barclays Bank and the Unreasonable Group, is a demo pilot project pioneering air-to-water technology to as many as 15 households and is managed by a joint team including Public Benefit Corporation, Navajo Power, and Arizona's Zero Mass Water.
“We are excited to help shine a light on the potential of hydropanels to help solve the clean water access challenge our [Navajo] communities have been facing for decades,” said Clara Pratte @cjlpratte, President of Navajo Power & Pritzker finalist. https://t.co/BqPsktc2WB— UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability (@UCLAIoES) September 11, 2020
To sum it up shortly, the project is turning out to be a runaway hit, solving a problem the community faced for a long time now. Mae Frankline, from the Cameron and Coalmine communities, said: "We are so happy to see these systems come to our communities who have not had basic access to water for all of these years." The basic principle behind the phenomenon is this—the hydro panels they use are powered by off-grid solar energy which draws the air from the atmosphere and sends it through what is being called a hygroscopic. The trapped water vapor is then extracted and condensed into liquid form and is collected in the reservoirs of the hydro panel. The collected water is then mineralized so that it maintains the taste and composition and then sent through the faucet for day-to-day usage.
With about 40% of households in the #NavajoNation living without clean drinking water, a long term challenge has reached an inflection point. We are honored to embark on this first round of projects in partnership with chapter leadership and #NavajoPowerhttps://t.co/90idGDLFaK— Zero Mass Water (@sourcewaterco) July 24, 2020
That's not all there is to this innovative tech, however, as each panel connects to a cloud-based network that is monitored for performance and quality, in true 21st-century style. Each Source hydro panel can generate up to 3 to 5 liters of water a day; with two panels, a home can get up to 10 liters a day, and each panel can store 30 liters of water, or 60 16-ounce bottles of water, for when cloud cover may affect production. As to their lifecycle, the panels last for 15 years. The workings of this system are nothing new either as it is already a very well-established occurrence globally and acts as a key source of water for thousands of families across over 45 countries spurred by partnerships between corporations, governments, and development organizations.
We are pleased to collaborate with #NavajoPower to support the installation of drinking water systems to Navajo homes. Funded by @unreasonable and @Barclays, this is an initial demonstration of SOURCE's potential to help create clean water access for the Navajo Nation. pic.twitter.com/V34L05oO0i— Zero Mass Water (@sourcewaterco) July 17, 2020
Cody Frisen, CEO of Zero Mass Water, sees the scope of the technology is akin to renewable energy technologies and cellular telephones as it is extremely scalable. "A standard, two-panel array, produces 4-10 liters of water each day, and has 60 liters of storage capacity," Frisen told FC, before continuing that each panel "lasts for 15 years and utilizes solar power and a small battery to enable water production." The quality of water is outstanding too and it ”exceeds the standards of every country where the systems have been deployed." The project has left the Navajo Nation happy too.
According to Good News Network, Clara Pratte, President of Navajo Power, said: "We are excited to help shine a light on the potential of Hydropanels to help solve the clean water access challenge our communities have been facing for decades. There are thousands of homes without water and this is a more cost-effective approach to getting clean water to these families. While our focus as a company is the development of large clean energy projects, our commitment to the well-being of Navajo communities is our north star, and we want to do everything we can to help the Nation mitigate the threats brought by the pandemic.”