It is amazing to see what a little ingenuity can do when combined with emerging technologies and creative minds. In this week’s post, I’d like to share a video that might make your mouth water. Many people in developed countries simply do not understand the scarcity of natural resources and fail to consider how tough some people have it. Are you up to snuff on global water issues? Take a moment to gain some perspective and get inspired.
In Lima, Peru, the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) has created the first ever billboard that produces drinking water from the air. Like most great inventions, the water-generating billboard was created by UTEC to satisfy a very fundamental need – while simultaneously promoting the university’s engineering capabilities to attract the interest of prospective students. Families throughout the region are suffering due to a lack of access to clean water. In a nutshell, Lima is located on a coastal desert and averages just over a half-inch of rainfall per year. Fransisco Quilca, a resident of the Bujama District, explains that “Most of us draw water from the well. It’s not nice, and it’s polluted.” While rainfall shortages make it difficult for any human population to thrive, a groundbreaking engineering solution utilizing high atmospheric humidity levels is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of families each month.
When this video was produced in late February 2013, the billboard had generated 9,450 liters of water in three months, which works out to about 100 liters a day. Now imagine what this could mean if more billboards are created and distributed to dry regions across the globe! According to the organization WaterAid, “Around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – that’s almost 2,000 children a day.”
Image source: Mayo Draft UCB/UTEC
Personally, I think these types of innovations are just what this world needs if we want to improve the lives of future generations, while working hand-in-hand with mother nature. WaterAid has also determined that for every $1 invested in water and sanitation projects, an average of $4 is recouped through increased productivity.
Thanks for reading!