Device that makes water out of air could be in your kitchen soon
The company has also invented a faucet for your car's cup holder.
In the aftermath of the raging fires that wiped out much of Paradise, California, a truck pulled up to a group of stunned residents and rescue workers, parched after a day of cleanup. The driver came out, pointed to a machine in the back and said that the device could pull water out of thin air. He flipped a spout and out came clean, drinkable H20.
"They literally walked around the truck and they kept on trying to figure out where this water is coming from, what magic are you guys doing?" recalled Yehuda Kaploun, the president of Watergen USA, the company behind the device.
Over the past few years, the Israeli founded company has worked closely with FEMA, the Red Cross and other NGOs to help provide clean water after natural disasters. After a hurricane or an earthquake, a regular relief truck might drop off bottles of water, but it needs to return each day to bring more water bottles to the devastated area. "The cost and the amounts for shipping and trucking is beyond ridiculous," Kaploun told From The Grapevine. Instead, the Watergen truck just needs to arrive once and can stay there as long as necessary to continuously provide clean water to a community.
That magic – being able to pull water out of thin air – will soon be available in your home, office and even automobile. Watergen has just unveiled the Genny, a water generator for the average consumer. Instead of lugging around five-gallon water jugs for your home or office water cooler, simply plug in the Genny and it will turn your air into water. "It truly is a revolutionary device," Kaploun said.
Here's how the technology works:
Had the Genny device been available when the Flint water crisis first began in 2014, Kaploun estimates that it could've saved the government more than $100 million in delivering drinkable water to the city's residents. "The cost analysis would be that whereas in Flint, Michigan, they delivered about $180 million worth of water, solving the crisis for each home would've cost approximately $65 million using our equipment," he said.
And it's not just in Michigan. "Over 70 million Americans currently have problems with their drinking water," Kaploun explained. "Recent reports show that there are Flints in nearly every state."
Many cities across the U.S. – including Cape Cod and other parts of Massachusetts, for example – are currently dealing with contaminated water issues. In southwestern Pennsylvania, residents have filed lawsuits against fracking companies, alleging that their well water is no longer safe to drink. The Genny home solution would, in theory, solve some of these problems. "We're not taking anything from the ground," Kaploun said. "We filter the air and clean the air before it becomes an issue."
Beyond areas with potentially contaminated water, a home or office that uses the Genny device will be reducing their reliance on plastic water bottles. "We can envision how the world can function with every school kid getting a water bottle at the beginning of the year and then going by our units and filling up in the auditorium or cafeteria," Kaploun said. They're already in talks with several college campuses around the U.S. about installing the system.
The Genny was selected as the 2019 Awardee for Best of Innovation for Tech for a Better World at last month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as well as an honoree for Best Home Appliance.
The device – which costs between $1,300 and $1,500 – is being manufactured at the company's factory in Columbia, South Carolina. "It's always easier to sell when you have an American product, and a good quality American product," Kaploun explained. He told us that they are considering opening four other factories in the U.S. to meet demand. The Genny will begin shipping this summer, and there are eventually plans to sell it online on Amazon and in stores like Walmart, Costco and Best Buy.
Back at Watergen's R&D lab in Israel, the company is already hard at work on their next big innovation: making water out of the air in your car. Imagine being on a long drive and simply turning on a faucet by the cup holder and – poof! – instant cold water. Pickup trucks and construction workers can utilize the readily generated water to clean equipment or wash their shoes. Even mobile homes could take advantage of the technology to have easier access to clean drinking water.
The scientists are relying on decades of water innovation techniques developed in Israel. "They are the leaders in the world of water," Kaploun told us. "As the chairman of our company, Michael Mirilashvili, says, 'Our goal and responsibility is to save the world and to change the world for the better.'"
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