Water-from-Air Harvester Wins $1.5 Million Water Abundance Xprize

Skywater Alliance

Nonprofit organization Xprize recently held a competition titled the ‘Water Abundance Xprize”, which asked the participants to find a way to extract minimum 2,000 liters of fresh water every day just from the atmosphere, while using renewable energy. The cost for it all had to be two cents per liter. Sounds like quite the challenge, doesn’t it?

But someone did figure it out – the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, to be more exact. They came up with a system dubbed Wood to Energy Deployed Water (WEDEW). The system cools warm air and collects the condensation in a tank. A biomass gassifier vaporizes wood and any other organic material in order to generate the necessary power for the system.

What’s so great about this system is the fact that, aside from giving people access to water (be it in areas where water is scarce or a natural disaster situation), it also helps the environment because the gassifier can use dead biomass that could catch fire otherwise and in turn release CO2.

Solar power and batteries can also be used as alternative power sources.

“It’s a carbon-negative technology. I think the future of technologies is going to be moving to this restorative, regenerative model that actually helps to repair the damage we’ve done.”

David Hertz, project leader

The Skywater team will use the prize money to develop and deploy units of the system worldwide after they partnership with other nonprofits.

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