Climate change is already having a measurable effect on the water cycle – that complex system that describes the changing amount, distribution, timing and quality of available water.
A warmer climate causes more water to evaporate from land and the oceans. Also, warmer air can hold more water. The moisture holding capacity of air at 38ºC (100ºF) is 10 times that at 0ºC (32ºF).
Access to safe water and sanitation is a major influence on the quality of life, especially in poorer and hotter parts of the world. Around the world, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home. There is a great need for a technology that can make good quality water more easily available.
One possibility being offered is the process developed by Zero Mass Water.
The company produces SOURCE Hydropanels. These consist of a primary panel and an additional panel that form an array that uses solar energy and a small battery to recover water from the atmosphere. Each array is 1.2m (4 ft) x 2.4m (8 ft) and is said to produce 4 – 10 litres of water a day depending on temperature and humidity. Each array can store 60 litres of recovered water.
There are two patent applications pending for the technology:
- Patent #20180043295 – SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR WATER EXTRACTION CONTROL
- Patent #20170294876 – SOLAR THERMAL UNIT
The company website lists a number of applications for the technology (e.g. agriculture or disaster relief), operating in different types of climate (e.g. arid desert or tropical rainforest)