Billboard in Peru makes drinking water out of thin air


The Philippines gets plenty of rain throughout the year. During the wettest times of the year, low-lying areas of Metro Manila and other parts of the country turn into lakes and sometimes ponds of impassable water. In contrast, some other parts of the world are in dire need of water, and some go months and even yearswithout seeing a single drop of rain from the sky. Peru is one of those countries, and its capital, Lima, averages less than two inches of rain per year. This makes water in Peru more of a blessing than the curse it is in most tropical countries, where too much water is a bad thing.

The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru and an ad agency called Mayo DraftFCBand created the structure for the residents of Lima, who are forced to draw polluted water from wells. “They could put this in different places if possible in each village, in each town…the water that gives us life,” Francisco Quilca, a Bujama District’s resident, told the university. The humidity in Peru is around 98 percent, so water can be drawn out of thin air. The billboard system uses reverse osmosis, a water purifying process, and then stores the water in tanks that hold 20 liters each. The water is dispensed at the bottom of the structure, which has provided 9,450 liters in three months, according to the school.

Although the snow-capped Andes, which also serves as a source of water, runs through Peru, the glaciers are rapidly shrinking due to several environmental factors. A study in the journal The Cryosphere shows that the Andean glaciers, which provide fresh water for the residents of not only Peru, but other countries where the Andes runs through, have shrunk between 30 and 50 percent since the 1970s. “Glacier retreat in the tropical Andes over the last three decades is unprecedented,” said Antoine Rabatel, the lead author of the study.

“Improving access to water would reduce maternal health issues, child mortality and overall poverty. If we do water and sanitation right, we can have a great improvement on other goals,” said UN Deputy Chief Jan Eliasson.

Source: Huffington Post