Warka water: water tower to get out of nothing

Warka water: water tower to get out of nothing


 Designer Arturo Vittori promises that his invention would give African outback 100 liters of clean drinking water per day.

In some parts of Ethiopia, the nearest source of drinking water is six hours away. In the year for the entire country is made ​​up to 40 billion hours emphasizes organization Water Project. But even in the case where the drinking water is still not found, it is not always possible to drink: streams and lakes abound pathogens, animal waste and other harmful substances.


In Africa alone, suffering from lack of water nearly a billion people. This fact attracted the attention of the world’s most famous philanthropists: actor and co-founder of Water.org project Matt Damon , co-founder of the corporation “Microsoft” Bill Gates and others. Through appropriate non-profit organizations they transferred millions of dollars on research and finding technical solutions, among which, for example, methods for processing human waste and the use of water passing through the toilet, as drinking. Under the supervision of Mr. Gates’ newly invented whole toilets.

Warka Water (here and below the image Architecture and Vision).

Grunts do not believe that is so sophisticated technology ever get to the African hinterland, where there is no man that can fix this toilet in case. Maintenance costs, they say, will be so high that no one agrees on the implementation of such ploys impractical. “If unsuccessful projects the past 60 years can teach us anything, it is only the fact that the imported sophisticated solutions give nothing,” – wrote in the “New York Times” one of those critics Cache Jason (Jason Kasshe), founder of the project Toilets for People .

Alternatively, the device features that do not require high technology – Filter Life Straw , for example. However, they do not help in finding a source of water.


The main problem, anyway, is access to drinking water, which would be both practical and comfortable. It was her, according to developers, decides expensive construction called Warka Water , which, they say, will bring even uneducated aborigine. The point is to extract water from the air.

Authors – Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler – sought to ensure that the design lacked any sophisticated tools and engineering feats. The invention – only the interaction of form and material.

The tower height of about ten meters resembles a vase. It was named in honor of the tree Ficus vasta, growing in Ethiopia. At first glance, it is rather startling installation, but in reality every detail and contours of the device functional. Appropriately selected and materials.

Hard outer part consists of light and elastic stems Sitnik woven so that the building survived under the pressure of strong winds and at the same time free to skip it. Placed inside the grid of nylon or polypropylene, its shape resembles a large Chinese lantern. She collected dewdrops that roll into the container at the base of the tower. Then the water is fed into the tube, and the thirsty Ethiopian can only open the tap.

Nothing breathtakingly new in this design is not. Several years ago, a student at MIT have demonstrated a similar device that turns water into mist. Vittori and Vogler just have to Warka Water was cheaper and more efficient all the currently available alternatives.

“In Ethiopia, which is missing whatever was infrastructure, and there is something like dig wells difficult – says Mr. Vittori. – And to find water, sometimes you have to drill a well depth of 500 m That is, it is technically difficult and expensive. In addition, the pumps require electricity and spare parts. “

Field tests have shown that Warka Water brings the day about 100 liters of water. Especially valuable is the fact that in the desert regions of difference of day and night temperature sometimes reaches 30 ° C, and these differences – the most important factor affecting the water condensation.

The construction is made of biodegradable materials, it is easy to remove and install without mechanical tools less than a week. Enough to teach this one village residents, as they will run happily share “know-how” with neighbors, says Arturo Vittori lover pastoralists.

One tower with installation costs approximately $ 500. Compare this with toilet Mr. Gates for $ 2200 plus service. When will start mass production, says Mr. Vittori, the price will fall. The first two towers to be built in Ethiopia for the next year. Searching investors.

And Mr. Vittori continues to draw a bright future when people stop spending time on water collection, they will be able to devote his life to various wonderful occupation, and Ethiopia will begin the era of prosperity.

Prepared according to the Smithsonian Institution .

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