Researchers in Peru have come up with an ingenious solution to the challenge of providing drinking water to citizens living in the capital city of Lima: A billboard that uses a reverse osmosis system to “squeeze” humid air and deliver water through a spigot. The system works when air moves through, in order, “air filters, a vapor condenser, [and] a carbon filter” and ends up as water in a cold tank. The billboard is the brainchild of Universidad de Ingeniería & Tecnología (UTEC) researchers and ad agency Mayo Publicidad, and has so far produced approximately 25 gallons of fresh water a day.
What’s the Big Idea?
With 7.6 million residents, Lima is the second-largest city in the world located in a desert, and although it experiences an extraordinary amount of humidity, it only gets about 1.1 inches of rain a year. Most of the drinking water comes from wells, and according to a man interviewed in a promotional video, it’s not as good as the water produced by the billboard. “They could put this [billboard] in different places…if possible in each village, in each town,” he says.