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Meet The WarkaWater, A Beautiful Way To Harvest Water From The Air

The WarkaWater is a gigantic bamboo structure with a loose fabric net inside. It’s not just meant to look nice, though. It’s designed to harvest water from the air.

The prototype pictured was developed by Arturo Vittori and his team at Architecture and Vision in Italy. Vittori is hoping to sell the WarkaWater in remote villages where fresh water is hard to find. “There are places where it’s expensive and difficult to dig for a well,” he says. “Sometimes it’s 500 meters down.”


The ideal location is in the high plains–say in East Africa or South America–where it’s warm during the day and cold at night. The temperature difference creates more condensation, and therefore more water collected in a clay container at the bottom of the structure. “There are places where it could work the entire year, and there are places where it wouldn’t fit at all,” Vittori admits.

Harvesting fog isn’t new. The ancient Egyptians did it. Insects do it (like this beetle). And other startups have done it, like FogQuest, which creates these steel-and-net mist-collectors.


The WarkaWater is a little more DIY, made with natural materials. Vittori hopes to build economies around people making WarkaWaters themselves. “It’s a lot of manual work, that is sure, but it’s simple,” he says. “You don’t need machinery or scaffolding.” Two or three people can mount one in 10 days.

Vittori reckons one WaterWarka will provide drinking water for three or four homes. But he won’t know for sure until Architecture and Vision test and monitor the prototype in Africa. The actual product should go on sale in about a year, costing about $500 a time.

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