Instead, a new type of solar panel in the backyard turns moisture in the air into clean drinking water and sends it inside the family’s simple bamboo home.
“We started this company to provide water to everyone, everywhere,” says Cody Friesen, CEO of Zero Mass Water, the startup making the new solar panel, called Source.
While installing his battery technology in Indonesia-which has plenty of rain, but still lacks clean drinking water-he decided to begin focusing his time on the issue of global water supply.
Then the solar panel powers a process that drives the water back out.
Having water at home also saves time; women in sub-Saharan Africa spend an estimated 40 billion hours a year collecting water.
In parts of the U.S.-like the 5,300 water systems that have issues with lead pipes-the startup’s panels could also provide an alternative to bottled water for people worried about water quality.
A single panel can provide drinking and cooking water for a family of four, and businesses or hospitals can scale up with multiple panels.