Most of us are directly tied into the local water supply, which is great when it works well, and horrible when it doesn’t, and although some homes may capture rainwater for irrigation, or have their own well, there aren’t a lot of alternative choices for getting clean drinking water, other than purchasing bottled water.
There are some up-and-coming water innovations that could be put into play at homes and businesses that would allow people to have more control over their own drinking water supply.
In recent years, the idea of pulling water vapor from the air and condensing it into drinking water is getting a whole lot more attention, and not just in off-grid areas and in the developing world, but also right here in suburbia and urban areas as well.
Zero Mass Water, an Arizona State University spin-off startup based in Scottsdale, has developed a “Drinking water solar panel” that is a standalone system requiring no wired or water input connections, and the company has been installing its SOURCE device in pilot programs on homes and in communities since 2015.
A single unit has a physical footprint of 2.8 square meters, generates its own electricity from a solar photovoltaic panel, and uses that electricity to drive a cycle of condensation and evaporation that can produce 2 to 5 liters of water per day.
According to the company, the only maintenance or financial input required by the SOURCE is a new air filter every year, and a new mineral cartridge every 5 years, which means that after the initial purchase and install, the owner can essentially own their own drinking water supply with minimal inputs.
Although pricing on the units hasn’t been publicly announced yet, Phoenix Business Journal states the price as $4,800, “Which includes the $3,200 panel and $1,600 for an additional panel.” Part of the company’s goal is global water democratization, so customers will be asked to help underwrite part of the cost of additional SOURCE units for people living in areas with little to no water infrastructure.