Hydro Harvester to solve global water shortage

In what could be a game-changer for solving the world’s water shortage problem, an atmospheric water generator (AWG) developed at the University of Newcastle is one step closer to commercialisation. The Hydro Harvester is designed to extract drinkable water from the air at a cost of less than five cents per litre. The project, led by Professor Behdad Moghtaderi from the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), has been awarded $330,000 from the NSW Physical Sciences Fund to prepare a prototype for commercial trial.

“By 2025, it’s estimated that 1.8 billion people will live in regions with absolute water scarcity,” he said. “We believe atmospheric water generation is part of the solution. At any given time, there is enough water in the atmosphere to meet the needs of the world’s population for a whole year,” he said.

Unlike commercially available AWGs, the Hydro Harvester works by heating air instead of cooling it. University of Newcastle Research Associate, Dr Andrew Maddocks, said the Hydro Harvester is suitable for residential, community or industrial applications and therefore should help improve water accessibility anywhere in the world.

“The simplicity of the technology, with no fancy materials and low maintenance costs, means it’s viable for use in developing countries too.”

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Photo courtesy of University of Newcastle.