• Tech

A Well That Sucks Water from Air

1 minute read

One in nine people worldwide lives without access to clean drinking water, and that problem is especially bad in areas unsuitable for wells or irrigation. One solution: the WaterSeer, a wind-powered device that aims to extract up to 11 gal. of potable water every day–from thin air. The key? Condensation.

After a fan pushes air belowground, a pipelike metal chamber cools it, and then water particles collect in a reservoir. “Anybody who’s had a frothy glass of beer knows there’s moisture in the air,” says Don Zacherl, CEO of VICI Labs, which developed the WaterSeer. “We’re just applying it in a different way.” The company aims to send out the first versions next year, once the National Peace Corps Association has finished field testing.

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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com