Water Scarcity

The WHO (World Health Organization) shows in its monitoring report, July 2017, an alarming picture of the current and especially the future situation of global water supply: At the moment approximately two billion people lack access to clean drinking water. It is estimated that up to 2025 based on climate change, the increasing industrial and agricultural use, the population growth and the urbanization, 50% of the world population will be living in water stressed areas. This will lead to more conflicts, epidemics and flows of refugees.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere contains more than six times more water in form of vapor than all rivers of the earth lead together. Thus, the atmosphere is one of the hugest freshwater reservoirs of the planet. It is also the fastest regenerating reservoir. Within only ten days its content is completely renewed. Thus it is a renewable source that can be taped sustainably. This water source is freely available all over the globe and can be used to provide drinking water.

Wasserkreislauf

The global water cycle: Water reservoirs (blue numbers) in 1’000 km3 water, water streams (back numbers) in 1’000 km3
Source: http://bildungsserver.hamburg.de/wasserressourcen-nav/2182190/wasserkreislauf-global

The plot shows the water cycle driven by sun between earth, sea, land and atmosphere. Depending on different sources these numbers vary strongly. Regardless, the number of surface streams and the content of the atmosphere is estimated the same.

From the immense water reservoir of the atmosphere relatively little amounts of water are extracted, a droplet on a hot stone. The water is not removed from the natural water cycle completely. It only makes a detour through the human organism and is then released to the atmosphere again. This means there is only an additional element in the closed water cycle chain similar to a dammed river.

Warm air can bear much more water than cold air. E.g. desert air of 40°C and 30 % relative humidity contains more water than the air in a cool evening of 20°C and 80 % relative humidity in central Europe. In Switzerland nobody would describe the ambient air as being dry; nevertheless with an annual average of 6.8 g/m3 (Brugg, AG) it contains less water than e.g. the air of Marrakech in the desert state of Morocco with an annual average of 9.7 g/m³.

Atmospheric Water Generator – Water Harvesting

An atmospheric water generator makes the atmosphere accessible for drinking water use. AquAero set the goal to develop a technology especially for arid areas that is able to extract large amounts of water from the air for a minimum of energy. Thus, the water shall be available at affordable cost.

For mobile use the atmospheric water generator can be shaped in the size of a standard container and be transported by truck. Also, a version for stationary use to provide for a community is planned. Depending on the size and the climate conditions an atmospheric water generator can produce 100, 1’000 or even 10’000 liters of water per day.

The question is justified if the water is toxic in case the air is contaminated. When metal organic framework gets in touch with contaminated air micro and macro particles (fine dust and soot) are not adsorbed as the pores are too small. Thus the water results pure.

The product of the atmospheric water generator is pure distilled water if there is no further treatment. If it is for drinking water purpose it must be asked if this is not harmful for the human body. As the water is mixed in the digestion with nutritive substances it loses it distilled character and finally arrives in the cell mineralized. Of course this presupposes a balanced nutrition. If this is not given a mineralization of the water is planned.