A new kind of water-capturing device could be a game-changer for some of the world’s driest places. It can pull water vapor out of the air at humidity as low as 20 percent — conditions that may be seen in the Sahara desert during its hottest months — and it can operate entirely off-grid, just using the ambient power of the sun.
This means it could provide water for parts of the world likely to be most vulnerable to water shortages under future climate change, including areas afflicted by recurring drought.
According to a description of the new design, published Thursday in the journal Science, a single tissue box-sized device can harvest up to 2.8 liters, or about three quarts, of water in one day at low humidity — that’s a bit more than the half gallon of water experts recommend a person drink over the course of a day.
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