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This Bike Device Pulls Water From Thin Air

An ingenious riding accessory could also become a life saver where water is scarce.

“Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”

Kristof Retezar, an Austrian industrial designer, recently introduced the Fontus, a bicycle add-on that mines the air for condensation, filling up an attached water bottle while you ride. Under the right conditions, in just a single hour the solar-powered device can accumulate up to half a liter of safe drinking water, which appears as if from nowhere. Retezar describes the device as a “self-filling water bottle,” and cites its usefulness on long bike treks, in which sources of freshwater may be scarce. But according to the designer, the Fontus’ utility may go far beyond that of an ordinary athletic accessory:

According to UN statistics, More than 2 billion people in more than 40 countries live in regions with water scarcity. In 2030, 47 percent of the world´s population will be living in areas of high water stress. Water scarcity may be the most underestimated resource issue facing the world today. Every measure to ease this upcoming crisis is a welcome one.

Harvesting water from the air is a method that has been practiced for more than 2000 years in certain cultures mostly in Asia and Central America. The Earth’s atmosphere contains around 13.000 km3 of mostly unexploited freshwater. This project is an attempt to discover these resources.

Retezar believes the Fontus “might be a clever way of acquiring freshwater in regions of the world where groundwater is scarce but air humidity is high.”

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