While this may sound too good to be true, Friesen describes the hydropanel technology he’s using to make it happen in saying to think about it like a sugar jar.
“If you leave the lid off of it, that sugar starts to get clumpy after a while because it’s absorbing water from the atmosphere,” he explains, the reason being that sugar is what’s known as a hygroscopic material.
“What we did was develop a set of hygroscopic materials that are porous enough to rapidly absorb water from the atmosphere. We use sunlight to drive a process that takes water back out of the materials.” From there, the water-up to 10 liters of it a day-is put through a mineralized filter and diverted straight to the kitchen tap, effectively bypassing your community’s system and creating what Friesen refers to as water independence.
The self-proclaimed science nerd with a Ph.D. from MIT was inspired to chase such independence after realizing that the water access problem can be solved using the right technology.
From there, he pooled scientists, engineers, and business developers to launch the first panel, called Source, in 2015.
Now, you can find a Source in eight countries, from poor, underserved regions like Guayaquil, Ecuador, where water cost more than half a family’s income, to highly polluted areas like Mexico City and Jakarta.
This speaks to the filter’s ability to weed out potential toxins in the air.