Revolutionary engineers invent a way to create water out of thin air
In overheated areas like Navajo Nation in the American Southwest, a magical new technology is conjuring desperately needed water for the people.
By Richie Hertzberg | June 25, 2021
A human being can survive for three to five days without water before their organs begin to shut down, something more people are thinking about in the scorching Southwest these days. Water is often taken for granted in towns and cities across the U.S., but as you venture into the more remote areas of the country, clean drinking water becomes scarcer, and residents of those areas must be strategic when it comes to finding it.
Navajo Nation is a perfect example. It spans three states and covers more than 27,000 square miles, making it the largest Indigenous nation in the United States. The land is home to 175,000 people, and an estimated 40 percent of them don’t have access to piped water in their homes.
While water has always been a precious commodity in the arid Southwest climate, conditions have been exacerbated by a decadeslong drought, as well as pervasive uranium contamination. During the 20th century, Navajo land was leased out for uranium mining that the U.S. government used to help develop its nuclear weapon arsenal. The mines were later abandoned and served as a contaminant for the land and drinking water, causing health complications among the Navajo people.
So water is not something people on the Navajo Nation can afford to take for granted these days.
But here’s where American ingenuity can step in and help save lives. Source Global, a company based in Scottsdale Arizona, is helping solve the potable water problem with a innovative new technology they call a hydropanel.