“A Billboard that Produces Drinking Water from Air”

Researchers at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, Peru, and advertising agency Mayo Peru DraftFCB put up a billboard in the village of Bujama, Peru, which is near Lima. It is no ordinary billboard. Yes, it does advertise — it lets potential students know about the newly established (in 2012) engineering university UTEC. However, it also provides drinking water to the villagers. Although the village has little rainfall, its air is humid because the village is by the sea. The billboard takes water from the air, as the billboard itself announces: “A billboard that produces drinking water from air.” Using a system of filters and a condenser, the billboard produces 96 litres of drinking water per day. Jessica Ruas, a spokesperson from UTEC, said, “The panel traps humidity in the air and transforms it into water. It’s that simple. There is a lot of water. It is right there in the sea, but it is not suitable for drinking purposes, and costs a lot of money to process it.” The water is collected, then stored in tanks on top of the billboard, and then it is filtered and flows down a pipe to a tap that anyone in the village can use. The system for producing water cost approximately US$1,200, and the water it produces is important to the village. Ms. Ruas said, “We hadn’t realised how big the impact would be.”

For Further Information: Aida Parados, “Advert turns air into drinking water.” BBC Mundo and BBC News. 22 March 2013


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