The Liard First Nation in Yukon is testing a new method of obtaining clean water — pulling it out of the air. An atmospheric water generator installed in Watson Lake is gathering moisture from the air like a dehumidifier, then purifying it for drinking by using UV light. When working properly, the machine can generate 30 litres a day, which is enough for a family's daily needs.
With droughts plaguing much of the western United States and millions of people across the globe living without access to safe water, the need for technologies that produce clean water is greater than ever. The key, according to Evelyn Wang, the Gail E. Kendall Professor and department head for MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, is in the very air we breathe.