The earth’s atmosphere contains just as much water as all our lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, underground well water, and oceans, combined. It’s a veritable Niagara Falls of water that could be used by people living under extreme drought conditions, who have been hit by natural disasters, or who live in remote desert areas, if only we could figure out how to harness it.
A new technology developed by Israeli scientists captures water from the air with 65 percent more efficiency than previous water vapor-collection methods. According to Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, one billion people worldwide live without clean, safe drinking water, and two billion more live without basic sanitation for the water that is available to them.
The latest technology simply augments ancient fog-harvesting methods. Ways to collect water from atmospheric humidity have been around for more than 2000 years. Air wells can be found in archeological sites in the Middle East and various parts of Europe, and dew ponds along with fog fences were around in the 1400s to collect water, too.