With another national water shortage looming for South Africa, and the Western Cape running dry, a Durban-based company is solving the country’s water problem by extracting water from air.
Last year was labelled as the driest year in South African history. By September things were looking grim and the Vaal Dam was emptying out at an alarming rate. According to the South African Weather Service, it is difficult to look at the entire summer-rainfall region and deduce that drought affected all of these areas equally. On the contrary, some of the provinces in South Africa appear to suffer more harshly than others at times of rainfall deficit.
As the country headed towards an el niño (complex rain pattern), Durban-based businessman Ray de Vries, along with his colleagues, created Water from Air, a mobile water converter housed on top of a trailer. Roy believes that Water From Air is the answer to regions of the country where water has become a commodity instead of a necessity.
That’s all good and well but how does it work? Water From Air machines extract moisture/water from the atmosphere through a condensation process. The water then passes through a filtration process and UV sterilisation process that produces ultra pure, healthy, drinking water.
Water from Air manufactures, assembles and markets machines that harvest the humidity from the air and convert it into pure drinking water. The smallest machine makes up to 32 litres per day and the largest machine up to 1500 L per day. The machine not only harvests its own water from air, but also passes it through a sophisticated filtration system as well as a UV sterilisation process.
Extracting water from the air around us is completely sustainable. There are 12 quadrillion litres of water in the atmosphere at any given time, and water is in a constant hydrological cycle, meaning that the water produced with one of these machines will eventually be recycled into the water cycle in the same way other water sources are. The only downside of these machines is that it needs electricity to run and for the time being, it can’t be used completely off the grid. It must also be said that these machines use a small amount of electricity to run – 450W to be exact, the same as a plasma screen TV.
Visit the Water From Air website for more details and to view their different water extraction machines and their prices.
By Shawn Greyling
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