Access to clean drinking water is presently an issue in several parts of Africa. Looking to solve this problem, an Italian designer by the name Arturo Vittori has come up with a basket-like structure that, he says, works by collecting water from thin air.
The innovative structure, pictured above, it dubbed the WarkaWater Tower. This is because, when creating it, designer Arturo Vittori got his inspiration from so-called Warka trees growing in Ethiopia, Inhabitat explains.
Information shared with the public says that each WarkaWater Tower stands about 30 feet (roughly 9.1 meters) tall and weighs some 88 pounds (approximately 40 kilograms). According to Arturo Vittori, it only costs about $550 (almost €400) to make one such structure.
The Italian designer details that the exterior of his WarkaWater Towers is made from juncus or bamboo stalks that have been woven together. On the inside, the structure sports a plastic mesh material that is made from nylon and polypropylene fibers.
It is these nylon and polypropylene fibers that act as miniature tunnels and guide whatever water droplets form inside the WarkaWater Tower, as a result of condensation, all the way down to a basin positioned at the base of the structure.
Arturo Vittori estimates that, on a daily basis, his basket-like structures can harvest enough atmospheric vapors to provide people with 25 gallons (nearly 95 liters) of drinking water. In Ethiopia and in many other regions where water availability is a yet-to-be-resolved issue, this could make a huge difference.
“WarkaWater is designed to provide clean water as well as ensure long-term environmental, financial and social sustainability,” the Italian designer said in a statement. “Once locals have the necessary know how, they will be able to teach other villages and communities to build the WarkaWater Towers,” he went on to explain.
Presently, Arturo Vittori is looking for financial support to move forward with this initiative and hopes that it will not be long until the first WarkaWater Towers are up and running in Africa. More precisely, the Italian designer plans to install at least two such structures in Ethiopia by 2015.
The designer has his eyes set on this country due to the fact that, presently, people living in several villages across Ethiopia have to travel for hours, sometimes even an entire day, to reach the nearest water sources. Besides, it occasionally happens that the water that they do find is contaminated either with human or animal waste.