Revelation: A Tower That Can Pull Drinking Water From The Sky

4/9/14 12:15PM EST

Revelation A Tower That Can Pull Drinking Water From The Sky Revelation: A Tower That Can Pull Drinking Water From The Sky

Image via VittoriLab

In remote Africa, water is scarce and about one billion people suffer because of it. A new tower designed to extract water from the sky through a simple process may change that. According to a report in Smithsonian Magazine, it could save Africans the 40 billion hours a year they usually spend on the daily search for water.

Industrial designer Arturo Vittori invented a tower-like structure that requires little assembly and stands 30 feet off the ground to collect water through the process of condensation. Instead of showy, high-tech solutions that are often proposed by philanthropists, the “Warka” tower requires little maintenance and costs just $500 to acquire. With this minor investment, villages could enjoy as many as 25 gallons of drinking water day by accessing the fruits of the Warka tower’s labor.

The Smithsonian Magazine piece recounts the struggle many Africans make to secure drinking water for their families. In the course of a regular day, many people trudge six hours in the effort to find water that may not be safe to drink. All told, Africans waste about 40 billion hours a year on this basic necessity. Wells are impractical in the area due to the deep location of waters and the maintenance villagers could neither manage nor afford.

Contrasting the many tech-heavy solutions are Vittori’s Warka towers made of biodegradable materials, which are reportedly easy to clean and service. The designer figures African villagers could put a Warka tower up within a week’s time. Once in place, they could show neighboring villagers the system and give rise to an influx of clean drinking plucked from the African sky.

Vittori stressed both the quality of life issues his invention addressed along with public safety. He told Smithsonian that children who didn’t have to worry about finding water every day “could invest [their time] for more productive activities and education.”


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