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Machines that make water out of air



Water can be extracted from the air by a machine that Ted Bowman designed, and some homeowners in California's parched state are already purchasing the expensive devices.


The air-to-water systems operate in the same way as air conditioners, cooling the air with coils before collecting water drops in a basin.


According to Ted Bowman, design engineer at Tsunami Products in Washington state, "water from air is not magic; it is science," and that is exactly what the company is doing with its machines.


In recent years, a number of systems have been developed to extract water from the humid air. This system is one of several such systems. Others include mesh nets that collect moisture from the air, solar panels, and shipping containers that collect moisture from the air.


Bowman claims that his company's machines, which are designed for use in homes, offices, ranches, and other locations, dehumidify the air and, in the process, produce water that has been filtered to be drinkable.


In foggy areas, the technology performs particularly well, and depending on the size of the system, it can produce between 200 gallons (900 liters) and 1,900 gallons (8,600 liters) of water per day. In addition, he claims that the machines are effective in any environment with high humidity, such as California's coastal region.


The machines are not inexpensive, with prices ranging from $30,000 to $200,000 for the most expensive models. Some homeowners are purchasing water tanks to meet their water needs in California, where residents have been asked to conserve water due to one of the worst droughts in recent history, which has depleted reservoirs.


Donnie Johnson, of Benicia, California, purchased the most compact machine, which appears to be an enormous air conditioning unit, in the hopes that it would generate enough water to sustain his garden. However, he discovered that it produces more than enough for his garden and household needs.


In the long run, he believes, as the price of freshwater through our utilities rises, the machine will more than pay for itself. "This machine will produce water for a lot less than you can purchase bottled water at Costco," he says.


Aside from the high purchase price, the unit also consumes a significant amount of energy to function properly. Johnson, on the other hand, claims that the solar panels on his roof generate enough electricity to allow him to operate the machine without incurring additional energy costs.


Experts such as Helen Dahlke, a hydrology researcher at the University of California, Davis, believe that the technology is appropriate for individual homeowners, particularly in rural areas. She, on the other hand, believes it is not a practical solution to California's broader water problems.


Dahlke believes that the emphasis should be on combating global warming in order to prevent future droughts.


To truly make a difference again, she believes that "we really, really, really need to curb climate warming."

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