Nature

‘Lake in the air’: Drinking water collected by incredible tower

The Warka Tower in Ethiopia has triggered a series of projects

Swigging a glass of squash, brushing your teeth, and having a shower, all menial tasks that you likely do without even thinking.

Yet in some areas, the privilege of clean water is literally life-changing.

Not only can it provide communities with access to drink and wash daily, it has a significant impact on a safer living environment that triggers a vital decrease in infant mortality.

In addition to this, it allows women more time to care for their family and gifts children the opportunity to go to school, as they do not have to invest time travelling miles to collect water.

[Credit: Warka Water]

This is why Warka Water are the angels of H20.

The non-profit organisation strives to create innovative and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged people by using local knowledge and resources to improve their livelihood.

Their work, alongside architect Arturo Vittori, is nothing short of genius. Together they use modern design to help those in need, with their pilot project receiving global recognition.

In 2015, their first venture was constructed in Dorze, a rural community in south Ethiopia, whereby they created a bamboo structure to collect and harvest water from the air.

From the air? Yes, you read that correctly.

[Credit: Warka Water]

The tower, cheap and easy to build, collects atmospheric water vapour from either rain, fog, or dew, which condenses against the cold surface of its mesh, forming droplets of liquid water that trickle down into a reservoir found at the bottom of the structure.

To complete the process, a fabric canopy then shades the lower sections of the tower to prevent the collected water from evaporating.

While the performance is weather dependent, each tower has the capability of providing a community with up to 100 litres of water per day.

Taking inspiration from the Warka Tree, a giant fig tree native to Ethiopia, the Warka Tower provides residents with shade, vitality, and a place to gather – just like the tree.

[Credit: Warka Water]

Speaking about their quest, Vittori said he was shocked by the “dramatic reality” when visiting small isolated communities that they lacked water that is safe to drink or cook with.

Vittori explained: “The villagers live in a beautiful, natural environment but often without running water, electricity, or toilets.

“Ever since, to bring safe water has become our mission, and the project from the first concept has been developed and tested with several full-scale prototypes.”

The Italian artist and industrial designer, famed for his keen interest in sustainability, said he uses nature as his muse to brainstorm for work.

[Credit: Warka Water]

Vittori said: “Insects, animals, and plants develop specific strategies to live in a specific environment. Some of them are capable of collecting water from the air and to store it to survive in the most hostile environments on earth.

“We also study the local culture, the craftsmanship and construction techniques, vernacular architecture, and ancient, forgotten traditions.”

Thanks to its huge success, there are now further initiatives in the pipeline, including a Warka Village for 100 residents in Cameroon and a project to help rural areas in Haiti, Togo.

Never has the phrase ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ resonated so well as Warka Water continue on their crusade to create parity for humanity.

For more information, click here: Warka Water

[Credit: Warka Water]

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