How Can You Collect Water From the Air?

Collect water from the air by condensing it onto a plastic or glass surface, as outlined on Place a glass bowl over some grass or other vegetation on a sunny day, and wait about 30 minutes. When the inside of the bowl is covered in condensation, turn the bowl and allow the water to run to the bottom.

The vegetation under the bowl increases the humidity in the air and allows you to collect more water. Another method is to dig a hole in the ground, cover it with flexible plastic, and then weigh it down with a rock in the middle. Place a container under the rock to collect the water. As the sun shines on it, water in the air under the plastic condenses onto the plastic, drips down toward the rock, and lands in your container.

More efficient, powered methods are being developed as of 2015. The Israeli company Water-Gen has created a machine that extracts water by cooling the air that enters the machine. Although it is currently only used by the military, it is expected to be available for civilian use in the near future.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University are also developing a similar method that uses discarded refrigerators and computer cooling fans. They hope that people in Third World countries will soon be able to use their process to access clean drinking water.