Water resources are quickly declining around the world and with the global population reaching 7 billion, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Desertification continues to diminish arable land and farmers are being put out of business as their crops dry up.
But Edward Linnacre, an Australian engineering student who recently won the James Dyson Award for creativity in engineering design, has a low-tech solution to the problem. The Airdrop, Linnacre’s brainchild, will harvest moisture that has evaporated into the air, feeding it into irrigation systems for farms in desperate need of water.
Using a turbine that sticks out from the earth, the Airdrop collects air, sending it down into the earth where it grows cool and condenses, forming liquid. The water is collected in a belowground tank and later sent up to the surface using a low-pressure irrigation system.
So how much water does this gadget generate? The small-scale prototype Linnacre installed in his Mom’s backyard harvested about 1L (about 4 cups) per day. That might not sound like much, but a large-scale system would vastly increase water outputs.
Linnacre explains in this Dyson Awards video, “There’s just an abundant resource of water in the air that surrounds us, even in places like the Negev desert in Israel, which is one of the driest deserts on the planet… All you need to do is reduce that air down to a certain temperature and you release that moisture.”
It’s the Airdrop’s simplicity that is especially intriguing. According to Linnacre, it doesn’t take an engineer to set up, meaning that a farmer living in the Imperial Valley wouldn’t have a problem with installation.
Let’s hope the Airdrop makes its way onto the market in the near future!
Airdrop via GOOD