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Billboard Pulls Drinking Water Out of Thin Air

Advertising is something we love to hate, but sometimes there’s an ad campaign that is so brilliant that you have to stop and take notice.

Like this one, which can pull drinking water out of the air.

A billboard in Lima, Peru, is harvesting water from the humidity in the air and filtering it, providing as much as 26 gallons each day.

That may not seem like that much, considering the amount of water that most of us use every day, but in a city that only receives about 2 inches of rain per year, it’s pretty significant.

While it doesn’t rain very much there, the atmospheric humidity is very high, averaging about 83%, so there is water to be had.

This billboard, which promotes Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology engineering program, is an example of a system that can access that water, generally right where it’s needed.

The UTEC Potable Water Generator uses systems of air filters, condensers, reverse osmosis filtration, and gravity to provide the water to the bottom of the billboard, which has produced about 2500 gallons of water in the first three months of operation. The water from the device is provided for local residents, most of whom rely on polluted wells for their water supply.

The ad campaign was the brainchild of DraftFCB, and was aimed at attracting “socially minded engineering students” to UTEC.

The impact that these systems would have on the lives of residents if more were distributed around the region is potentially huge, and we’ll be curious to see if this one inspires the installation of many more.

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