Zero Mass Water uses solar energy to pull clean drinking water right out of the air.

Zero Mass Water’s premise is both incredibly simple and incredibly ambitious: It pulls clean drinking water straight out of thin air.

Founded by Cody Friesen, a materials scientist, the startup’s Source system relies on an ultra-absorbent material that collects water at 20,000 times the concentration of the air around it.

“We want to fundamentally change the way people receive their drinking water,” says Friesen, who also teaches at Arizona State University.

The startup has installed systems in areas of Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico, and the Philippines that lack the infrastructure for drinking water.

This reporter tried some, and it was cold and refreshing-certainly better than the tap water at the motel down the road. As good as the water might be, the cost is likely to be a sticking point before this technology enjoys widespread adoption.

Friesen is quick to point out the positive effects that switching from bottled to Source-produced water would have on the environment.