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Is Water the Silver Lining in Every Cloud?

After I posted the snickering, tongue-in-cheek writeup on the 1931 “fog farm” concept, Angela B. sent along (via inhabitat.com) information on this real and modern example of a “fog farm” from a sharp student with her head in the clouds, so to speak.

For her final thesis in Industrial Design at Germany’s Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Imke Hoehler designed the “DropNet fog collector” that harvests drinking water from fog, air and mist. The great features of her design include simplicity, zero energy requirement, easy assembly and portability (unskilled workers can quickly assemble it on flat or uneven ground.) It’s a feasible approach for isolated areas with little or no infrastructure.

Each unit reportedly collects 10-20 liters per day. Unlike the kooky Modern Mechanix fog farm concept, this isn’t conceived to irrigate farmland, but it can ensure a safe supply of drinking water in challenging conditions. Has Irme, literally, found the silver lining in every cloud? Or more importantly, a reasonable way to mine it?

In looking at the design I wonder…might there be a way to incorporate rainwater harvesting into the unit so that it could also collect those supplies when available?

Next Up: The Air-Water Nexus

As we run great rivers nearly dry, suck our aquifers empty and pump, pump, pump, in increasingly futile attempts to meet unsustainable water demand, hope springs anew as a vision for tomorrow’s uptapped water source—the air—begins to materialize. And thanks to some architects with their heads in the clouds, that vision looks impressive!

Design-savvy Angela B. pointed us to an Inhabitat.com feature with conceptual plans for The Water Drop Resort, which will convert air to purified water. (No word yet on a completion date… or even a location!)

Architecturally and thematically designed in the shape of a drop of water, the Water Building Resort intends to become the first building ever to convert air into water with the help of solar power. What sounds like magic will be achieved with the following combination of nature and technology: A sunny, southerly facing facade made of photovoltaic glass will harness solar energy, allowing light to pass through. The northern facade features a latticed design for ventilation as well as unprecedented Teex Micron equipment that will convert humid air and condensation into pure drinking water.

Designed for construction in warm and humid coasts, the Water Building Resort, a resort complex, will also house a water treatment facility in the bottom floor, for purifying salty sea and rain water, along with a center of technological investigation to control and certify water quality. Restaurants, gyms, exhibition halls, hotel and conference rooms, and spa services will fill the upper floors – all based on the theme of water, the environment and renewable energy. An underwater aquarium will sit at the base of the Water Building Resort, rounding out the water conscious theme and practices.

See more photos and details of Water Building Resort From Orlando De Urrutia Architecture & Sustainable Urbanism, Barcelona for a Teex and Al-Mutawa Consortium.