Clean, drinkable water is one of the most important issues of life anywhere. Yet, 71 percent of our planet is sea and there are nearly 13 quadrillion liters of water in the air and scientists have been working to break into these untapped resources.
Zooming in on The Namib Desert, which is located on the Southwest African coast, we see a peculiar creature, the Namib Desert Beetle manages to survive each and every year here where the sands are burning hot and there is less than 1/2″ of rainfall per year. The trick is harvesting water from the air. Namib Desert Beetle’s shell is covered in bumps, which allows humidity in the air to accumulate on its back and as droplets, they roll down into its mouth, allowing the insect to survive.
Researchers have mimicked this shell to develop a bottle that utilizes the same water collecting effect. This technology can also be used on tent covers, roof tiles and other items. Researchers at NBD Nano is mimicking this to create a water bottle that can continually fill itself up by harvesting water from the atmosphere. The company hopes to have the water bottle on the market by 2014.
“We see this being applicable to anything from marathon runners to people in third-world countries, because we realize that water is such a large issue in the world today, and we want to try to alleviate those problems with a cost-efficient solution,” says Deckard Sorensen, co-founder of NBD Nano.