According to the United Nations report, the world will be living under severe water stress in the coming years, which can be as early as 2025. India is also facing a decline in levels of the water table. It can create huge problems as groundwater is critical for food security in the country. 

Sustainable solutions are being worked upon to manage this crisis. Extracting water from air is one such solution. A Bengaluru-based start-up Uravu Labs has made a device to capture water from the air. 

How Does The System Work?

The firm has deviated from a generally used approach of cooling down warm, humid air using a dehumidifier, which leads the air to lose its ability to hold moisture. They have used a system based on desiccation where a saltwater solution called brine is used to remove moisture from the air. 

Also Read: World’s Top 50 Regions Facing Climate Risk Include UP, Bihar

Air passes over the brine, and as it absorbs moisture, the brine becomes saturated. The brine is then heated with solar energy to evaporate the water, and the resulting water vapour is collected.

Swapnil Srivastava, the co-founder of Uravu Labs, told Hindustan Times, “Our air-to-water system uses less energy (300 watt-hours per litre).” This system uses solar energy currently, but it can also be run on waste heat of industries and biomass.

Challenges In The System

The system of extracting water from air might have certain benefits but it also faces challenges. The system depends on the weather conditions of the place. As the system extracts water from the air, the weather should be sufficiently humid, but very high humidity also poses a problem. Also, this system might not work in dry or cool climates. 

While the water produced is dihydrogen monoxide, our body needs water that has soluble minerals and salts. The pollutants in the air may also make their way into this extracted water.

Swapnil says, “Our current target customers are those who require pure water, like the beverage industry, while we can also mineralize the water based on customer requirements.” He also claims that their device can filter air pollutants.

Will This Help In The Coming Times?

Beverage industries have been accused of using groundwater injudiciously. With this extraction system, the beverage industry can be catered to without having an effect on the groundwater levels. However, the cost, maintenance, size, and environmental concern of proper disposal of desiccation products can hinder the widespread use of this system.

Uravu Labs mainly provides its services of packaged water to the hospitality industry, premium cafes, and beverages industry from an in-house facility based in Bengaluru. Their present capacity is 1000 litres per day (LPD), with an average cost of ₹4–5 per litre of water production. They project that they would scale up to 1 lakh LPD within two years and expect a lowering of costs.

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), which monitors groundwater levels in the country, found that in 2021, over 33% of monitored wells showed a decline of 0–2 metres. Some areas like Delhi, Chennai, and Lucknow experienced a decline of over 4 metres when compared to the 2010–2019 average. 

The air-water extraction systems and sustainable initiatives like these can help the growing crisis of water table depletion. These innovations help in balancing the dialectics of nature and development.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan Times, Business Insider, Uravu Labs

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: Uravu Labs, air, water, air to water, climate crisis, water crisis, brine, dry, cool, humid, beverage, air pollutants, nature, development, Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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