This Bamboo and Mesh Tower Harvests Water from the Sky to Help Remote Villages Thrive
This is Warka Water, a beautifully-crafted and super-efficient bamboo tower that collects atmospheric water vapor from either rain, fog, or dew, which condenses against the cold surface of the mesh. In turn, this valuable condensation provides clean water for communities in remote villages and isolated regions where traditional pipelines, wells, and infrastructures don’t exist.
More specifically, this alternative water source is being implemented throughout Ethiopia, the tropical rainforest in Cameroon, as well as in Haiti, Madagascar, Colombia, Brazil, India, and Sumba.
Founded by Italian architect Arturo Vittori, Warka Water is a non-profit organization that’s on a mission to create life-changing and sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s most challenging problems. It does this by merging “local knowledge and resources, visionary design, and ancient traditions.” In 2015, this forward-thinking sustainable method was first installed in Ethiopia. The non-profit’s name was inspired by the Warka tree, a giant wild fig tree native to Ethiopia.
The Warka Water tower is made of a sleek triangular frame that is made out of local bamboo, which encloses a thin polyester mesh. This mesh captures droplets of liquid water from high humidity in the air, or rain, fog, or dew. These droplets trickle down into a reservoir located at the bottom of the structure. The tower’s lower sections are shaded by a fabric canopy to prevent the collected water from evaporating. The canopy also serves as a place for the community to gather and sit under the shade.
The tower stands at 9.5 m tall and is light, weighing just 80 kg, which makes it simple to transport, assemble, and maintain. While this light-yet-mighty tower is contingent upon weather conditions, each tower is capable of providing a community with up to 100 liters daily.
Vittori points out that water gathering is a dangerous task as it takes local villagers many hours to make the trek to fetch water. Plus, the water they collect is most often contaminated with human and animal waste. In general, water scarcity reportedly affects over 1 billion people worldwide.
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