By Elton Gomes
As water in Indian reservoirs begins to shrink, water conservation has become the need of the hour. However, the million dollar question is how do we save water when it is beginning to deplete fast? A solution to the problem might be to produce water, which is exactly what this startup in Hyderabad is doing.
Here’s what happened
Uravu, a startup founded by Swapnil Shrivastav, Sandeep Nutakki and Venkatesh R, aims to harness technology by converting atmospheric moisture to water. The founders were intrigued by the fact that the atmosphere contains 12 quadrillion litres of water.
Shrivastav, Nutakki, and Venkatesh while working on a college project aimed at finding “alternative and decentralised technologies to source, access and distribute water,” when they decided to produce water out of thin air.
“Between the time we got the idea to when we started actually working on it, we visited a few places in Rajasthan and Gujarat which face constant water-related problems,” Shrivastav told the News Minute. The visits yielded valuable insights that led the three to develop an affordable and low-maintenance solution.
How does Uravu work
According to a report in the News Minute, Uravu uses a hygroscopic material which “sucks water vapour from the air at night and stores it.” During the day solar collectors heat the hygroscopic material and release water vapour, which is then transformed into water upon cooling.
— Uravu Labs (@uravulabs) April 20, 2018
“There’s no need of any electricity or moving parts. It is just a passive device that you can leave on your rooftop and it will generate water,” Shrivastav told Quartz. “The process starts at night, and by evening next day you’ll have water.”
Shrivastav added that the water can then be supplied to homes and used for daily purposes. Furthermore, to make it fit for drinking, a mineral cartridge can be attached.
Producing water from air
Several companies and researchers have been using technology to pull water out of thin air, thus helping us produce a resource that is constantly deteriorating in supply.
In 2014, Israeli company Water-Gen developed atmospheric water-generation units to cool the air and condense water vapour. Water-Gen’s CEO Arye Kohavi told CNN,“The clean air enters our GENius heat exchanger system where it is dehumidified, the water is removed from the air and collected in a collection tank inside the unit.” Thereafter, the water passes through a filtration system that rids it of chemical contamination.
Why you should care
India seems to be facing a serious water problem – its shrinking reservoirs have caused considerable concern. Moreover, Bengaluru occupies the second spot on the list of cities that are most likely to run out of water in the near future. Innovation by startups such as Uravu is critical in finding new ways to help us preserve this resource.
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