Friday, July 5, 2013

Free Water For the Public (Sometimes)

There is a move afoot in some of the larger cites to re-purpose their old, or outdated infrastructure.  If you think about it, the possibilities are endless.  I ran across this example from Lima, Peru - a free water station.

It had been an advertising billboard, but was designed and converted (re-purposed) by the University of Engineering and Technology into a fresh water collection facility - converting the moist air (very moist air at 98% relative humidity) into drinking water.  As the air moves through the contraption's reverse-osmosis collectors, it is condensed and filtered to produce as much as 25 gallons of water per day.  This bounty is kept in tanks along the old basewalk, and is dispensed by a faucet at the bottom of the old billboard.  Simple, but effective.

I guess it won't be long before someone wants to advertise on the unit once again, so this particular old infrastructure is almost surely going to go full circle soon.  And they'll probably start charging for the use of the faucet, too.

Of course, such a unit would do no good at all here in Colby, Kansas where our average humidity hovers somewhere around 14% - and that's only when all the corn is transpiring full bore.  We'd be lucky to produce a cup-full of water each week, I'm afraid.  And I'm also afraid it'd evaporate on the way down to the faucet.  Maybe we'd just better leave the water in the air!

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