Next time you find yourself griping about not having enough hot water for your shower in the morning, Ponder this – there are about one billion people in the world who lack access to clean water. For example, Lima the capital city of Peru which is located in the Atacama desert in South America, is host to 700, 000 people with zero access to water that could even be conceived as clean enough for bathing, let alone drinking. This is due in large part to the fact that they receive next to zero rainfall with an annual precipitation of 0.51 inches. How does one combat this arid affliction? Yes, this area is bereft of favorable rain conditions but what it lacks in precipitation it makes up for with it’s plentiful atmospheric humidity (98 percent during summer months), My friends, the answer resides in the air. In the Bujama District, just one of many communities affected by this droughty climate, a billboard has been erected that miraculously pulls moisture out of the air and coverts it into perfectly potable water. The powerful partnering of engineering and marketing that led to it’s creation came when UTEC (University of Engineering and Technology) and Peruvian ad agency Mayo Publicidad came together in an attempt to remedy an enrollment slump by creating a billboard with hopes of attracting engineering students while simultaneously providing a necessary and surprisingly cost effective solution to this water crisis. Housing five generators and a reverse osmosis method of purification, the billboard is able to pull this bountiful moisture from the air and create about 96 liters of water each day. Since it’s inception last December until this past March, the billboard has generated over 2, 500 gallons of clean, usable water. If this concept inspires and intrigues you (as well it should), a great article from the folks at popularmechanics.com greatly discusses this incredible creation as well as another clever contraption in Abu Dhabi also built to extract water from the air.

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Category: Technology