The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, Peru has partnered with advertising agency MAYO-DRAFT FCB to create an advertising billboard that grabs moisture from the desert air and converts it into filtered drinking water.
The city of Lima doesn’t usually get much in the way of rainfall, but can suffer from humidity as high as 98 percent. The UTEC/MAYO collaboration has come up with a novel way to help local residents who are only able to get drinking water from often polluted wells, while also generating interest in the study of engineering at the university, where admissions are due to start on March 3.
An advertising billboard erected along the Pan-American Highway is also home to some hidden harvesting, conversion and purification mechanisms (including an air filter, condenser, carbon filter and cold tank). The electric system takes moisture from the humid air by means of reverse osmosis and delivers purified drinking water through small ducts at the foot of the billboard, and down to a tap at the base of the structure.
The billboard is reported capable of producing 96 liters (over 25 gallons) of water every day for the locals, or for travelers who stop for refreshment, and has already notched up an impressive 9,450 liters (2,496 gallons) of potable water out of thin air since its installation in December 2012.