A solar panel on your roof could soon capture drinkable water for your faucet.
Called Source, this solar panel system developed by Zero Mass Water, a startup with a mission to “Democratize drinking water,” turns water vapor in the air into clean, drinkable water.
The water-gathering panel is made of a material created by Zero Mass Water that passively absorbs moisture in the air.
The material in a Source device absorbs water in a similar way, then the solar panels harvest the energy required to evaporate the water to purify it.
Currently, a family of four would be about 3 liters short of having enough drinking water if everyone followed the 8-glasses-per-day rule, but the device could fill a vital need for drinking water in rescue camps and makeshift communities.
Panel installation takes only about 20 minutes, and the devices have already been installed in places like Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico, and the U.S. The WHO also reports that clean water can not only prevent disease, it can improve a country’s economy and reduce poverty.
Perhaps in the future, when you turn on the tap to get a glass of water, it’ll be flowing straight from panels on your roof instead of pipes in the ground.