Warka Water Towers Could Make Drinking Water From Thin Air

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

warka_water tower

Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine

  • Warka water towers could make drinking water from thin air: Warka Water towers are designed to take advantage of condensation. According to the designer Arturo Vittori, his invention can provide remote villages with more than 25 gallons of clean drinking water per day. In Africa alone, water shortage affects about a billion people. Philanthropists such as Matt Damon, co-founder of water.org and Bill Gates, who’s been providing millions of dollars into research and solutions of water problem have already shown their interest. However some critics have raised doubts about practicability and affordability of such technology in remote villages.
  • Project “Akon Lighting Africa” takes off: Started by an American-born Senegalese musician Akon who spent his partial childhood in Africa, project Akon Lighting Africa aims to provide about one million African homes with solar energy by the end of 2014. Akon is investing some of his own money into the project that will bring cheaper and more portable solar systems to rural villages; while the remainder will be financed via a public-private partnership with governments, banks and NGOs. The project took off after a recent nine-country tour: “We’ve closed four contracts and another three are still being in negotiation. We’re close to get 200,000 homes electrified, so I’m thinking by the end of 2014 we should be able to achieve that goal for sure. My passion has always been to try to be a part of building infrastructure in Africa” says Akon. The group will be hiring and training locals to build and maintain the installations.
  • IKEA’s biggest clean energy investment: IKEA has recently announced the purchase of a wind farm south of Chicago as part of its goal to produce as much energy as it consumes by year 2020. The wind farm is projected to generate up to 380,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually, which equals to 165% of the electricity consumed by IKEA U.S. (including 38 stores, 5 distribution centers, 2 service centers and 1 factory), or 18% of the electricity used by the IKEA company worldwide. IKEA’s message to other businesses: “Investments in clean energy make financial sense. They also act as a hedge against volatile energy costs, something that can be especially valuable during turbulent times.”
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