Gadget that creates water out of thin air holds promise for safe drinking water for all?

December 6, 2008

(ChattahBox) — A new gizmo may offer a potential solution to the world water crisis. A small Canadian firm, 1 of 3  Element Four,  has applied its water technology to create the WaterMill, a novel electricity-powered machine that draws moisture from the air and purifies it into clean drinkable water. The compact WaterMill, which goes on sale in the spring, is designed for household use. The WaterMill draws in air through a filter and then cools it into water droplets. This water then passes through a special filter and is exposed to ultraviolet light, which rids it of bacteria.

More crucially for countries such as Zimbabwe that is battling a cholera epidemic that has already killed hundreds, the 10-person team at Element Four shares an ambitious goal: to quench the world’s growing thirst for water. Element Four is also working on another device, the WaterWall, which could potentially supply an entire village in the developing world with water.  The WaterWall is constructed by taking several of the water-making cells of the consumer appliance and hooking them up in series on a wall.

Rick Howard, the CEO of the company, says it was at a U.N. conference on water in New York last summer that he realized just how revolutionary Element Four’s technology might be.

Howard told CNN: “There we were on the same stage as GE, Dow Chemical and Siemens, and it was a complete shock to us when we heard the solutions they were offering. We realized we had something that could effect change.”

Howard admits the company needs to focus on growing its business first, so it may be some time before the Element Four’s products make their way to the developing world.

But Howard and partner Jonathan Ritchey are in various stages of discussions with several unnamed humanitarian groups in the field.

It’s early, but the company’s core principle is “to do good as we do well,” he says. “That’s part of truly what drives us — knowing that at some point we will be able to do some significant good.”

About one in five people in the world lack access to safe drinking water, and shortages pose serious health problems for much of the developing world. The U.N., which has declared 2005-2015 the International Decade for Water, expects 1.8 billion people to live in regions with absolute water scarcity by 2025.


One Response to “Gadget that creates water out of thin air holds promise for safe drinking water for all?”

  1. Cool Gadget News on December 6th, 2008 4:43 pm

    […] Gadget that creates water out of thin air holds promise for safe … – […]

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