The WarkaWater is shaped like a vase and looks like an art exhibit. By gathering condensation, it's providing water to Ethiopian villages and could be a solution for thirsty communities worldwide.
WarkaWater, which is named after an Ethiopian fig tree, is composed of a 30-foot bamboo frame containing a fog-harvesting nylon net that can be easily lowered for repairs and to allow communities to measure the water level.
Collecting water through condensation is hardly a new technique, but the creators of WarkaWater say their tree-inspired design is more effective, maximizing surface and optimizing every angle to produce up to 26 gallons of drinkable water a day — enough for a family of seven.
This is where WarkaWater could stand apart — as a lower-tech solution that is easy to repair and far more affordable than digging wells in the rocky Ethiopian plateau.
Each water tower costs $550 — a Playpump is $14,000 — and its creators say the price will drop significantly if they start mass-producing it. The structure takes three days and six people to install and doesn't call for any special machinery or scaffolding.
"Once locals have the necessary know-how, they will be able to teach other villages and communities to build the WarkaWater towers," says Vittori, who is already working on WarkaWater 2.0, an upgraded version that may include solar panels and LED bulbs to provide light after dark.