In a desert region where drinking water is scarcely available and is considered extremely precious, a United States technology-driven firm is revolutionising the way the precious stuff is sourced.
The conventional method for sourcing water is either by drilling wells or by desalination of the sea-water to purify the water. However, an Arizona based firm has come up with an innovative method of sourcing water from moisture in the air. This Air-to-water method is being implemented by the company named Zero Mass Water which has set up its unit in the United Arab Emirates, 20 kilometres from Dubai.
The technology is in a nascent stage and is much more expensive as compared to the conventional methods for producing the same output of water, however, it could well serve as a model in the future for desert nations to produce drinking water through renewable resource and in a sustainable manner.
The plant is under construction in the village of Lehbab, a hub for camel-breeding and desert safaris. The facility will start with the installation of 1,250 hydro panels, each of which costs $2,500, though the plan is to eventually increase the number of hydro panels to 10,000 units. These hydro panels absorb water vapour and extract it using solar energy. The technology can be used anywhere under the sun but is said to be more suited under the hot and humid climate.
The company is not going forward with a bulk production and will be able to have an annual production of only up to 2.3 million litres which is only about the size of an Olympic swimming pool, as per reports. IBV, an Emirati Firm, owned by Butti Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s royal family, will buy the water to package it in glass bottles with caps made from bamboo. IBV intends to sell it to high-end hotel chains or to bulk buyers. The price of the bottled water will be in the range of the imported brands i.e. around 10 Dhirams ($2.72) per litre as against the local bottled water which comes between 1 to 2 Dhiram.