With "new discoveries and technological advancements", the future of reclaiming the world's driest places and deserts, and turning them into wetlands with lush vegetations seem promising.

This is all thanks to devices that can extract water out of the dry desert air. Experts hope that the technology will soon be able to supply clean drinking water, at commercial scales, even to the driest parts of the world.

This brief will review 13 new and existing machines that can harvest water from a dry desert air.

1) SunToWater

The device can pull water out of the dry air using an innovative dehumidifier. The outdoor air passes through a desiccant (salt), which absorbs the air's humidity, and the water is then extracted and further processed before consumption.

SunToWater device uses light energy from the sun as a power source. It is said to be able to work in places with a humidity level lower than 18 percent relative humidity and is also said to produce 40-100 gallons of "clean water" in a day.

The device is designed to work even in the driest deserts in the world.

2) Metal-organic framework (MOF)

This innovative device was developed by Yaghi and colleagues. The device works by using the MOF, made up of tiny crystals, to capture water molecules when temperatures decrease, and then release the water molecules when the temperature rises.

Yaghi and his group put together a box about two feet per side of the MOF. When the temperatures decrease at night, water molecules are trapped and condense on the box’s side. At night, the device can hold up to 3 ounces of water per pound of MOF used.

The really cool part of this contraption is that it does not require a power source and parts to function continuously. As the concept is based solely on the construction material, MOF.

3) Permalution fog-harvesting device

This device, which was created by a finalist in the Singularity University Tatiana Estevez Carlucci and colleagues, is based on the concept that some areas in the world experience high amount of fog in the morning. Permalution is built to harvest water from the fog.

To achieve this, the device consists of fence-like mesh panels that attract water droplets from the fog. The water droplets then flow through receptacles into storage tanks. The device can capture water droplets using a 65-by-29-foot screen, which then drips down into a storage tank.

4) MIT-solar powered harvester

Researchers at MIT have designed a new device that can serve as a reliable water source in the desert. The device, which is solely powered by sunlight, can harvests water from the desert air.

The device is said to be able to harvest 30-50 gallons of water in a day. It has been field-tested in the very dry air of Tempe, Arizona. Though more work is needed to scale up the process.

5) Thin Air 18

Four current and former imperial College students designed the device during a competition offered by the clean water challenge.

The device was inspired by the process by which Namibian desert fogstand beetle absorbs water from the air. The device gathers water droplets from the air into containers where the water is then mineralized for consumption. The device, according to CEO Jonathan Risley, condenses water 370% more than other existing water harvesting devices.

6) JMCC Wing

The wind, according to James McCanney, is the most sensible and reliable power source. That is the reason why James used it to harvest water from the thin dry desert air.

Wind is always available day and night and hence he believes that the machine can work day and night to supply people in the desert with water.

The device comprises thin mesh-shaped wires that work to condense air droplets. The droplets are then collected inside a container, mineralized and then stored for consumption.

7) Uravu

This is another company in India that is geared to solving the water shortage problem. The company consists of a team of architects and Engineers who are using a patented hydroscopic material to collect water at night.

At night, when the air is humid, the machine works to trap air droplets. These are droplets are then released during the day using solar collectors. One panel of the machine is said to be able to generate about 15-20 liters of water per day

8) Hydro Harvester

Hydro harvester is a device built by the Australian team of specialists based at the University of Newcastle. The device collects water at night by passing air through a silica gel like desiccant that absorbs the water. The water is then released during the day, like in the Uravu, using solar collectors.

It is made to trap as much water from the air as possible using the condensers and the propellers inside. The system is designed in a modular fashion. Each modular box can provide up to 20 liters of water per day.

9) Skydra

This device was developed by these folks: Nathan Tylor, Jacques Laramie, and Chris Wlezien. The device uses condensers to get water from the desert air. As the dry desert air passes through the cold refrigerant, it condenses out and gets stored in containers. The device is said to be able to collect up to 20 gallons of water per unit per day.

10) PlanetsWater AWG Devices

The device, developed by the Planets company limited, extracts water from the air and converts it into the fresh drinkable water.

AWG devices are humidity and temperature driven devices. This implies that the higher the humidity, the higher the amount of water that will be generated.

The company in the process of finding an alternative to bottled water and reduce the carbon footprint developed the device.

11) Aquaboy Pro

The Aquaboy Smart screen TM, almost like the Skydra device uses multiple system condensers to maximize the quantity of water droplets it can extract from the air. The device has the capability of extracting up to 20 gallons of water from the air.

12) AWE

This device extracts both water and energy from the air. The Water extraction capability was accidentally discovered when the engineers discovered that the device could only work with dry air. The company, in the process of seeking an alternative to water energy by producing energy from the wind, discovered that the device could condense water from the air. In other words, this device seems cool because it can produce both energy and water at the same time.

The device is said to be capable of producing up to 120 million gallons of water per year. The company is now on the move to start commercial and domestic water supply.

13) The GENius Device

An Israeli company, Water-Gen, has developed a water device, which uses a genius heat exchanger to chill and extract water from the dry air.

The water is then collected in a container, where it is then processed and filtered to remove any chemical and microbiological contaminants. The company’s CEO-Pasik said that the device is aimed to provide water which will be 20 times cheaper than any existing solutions.


These technologies are most welcome especially with the exponentially increasing world population, dwindling access to fresh water, and the current billions of people in the world that lack access to clean drinkable water.

Individuals and cooperation should continue to be encouraged to develop or improve on existing technologies to source fresh water, by any means, especially in arid regions.

Author's Bio: 

Article Writer.