Could NOLA’s humid air be an untapped natural resource?

Water may become one of the most valuable natural resources over the course of this century due to demand rising faster than supply.

Here in south Louisiana we got water. It’s all around us, under us, and sometimes over us. It is also in the air, lots of it.

We mostly just endure the humidity. Complain about it. Sweat when we exert the least little effort outside.

But maybe our humid air could be a gold mine. Aqua Sciences, Inc. has developed technology that can distill pure drinking water out of the air. Their products are designed for emergency use in disasters and war zones. The cost is roughly 25 cents per gallon of water.

What if this technology went large scale? Aqua Science’s machines yield up to 1,200 gallons per day. What if that could be increased 100-fold or a 1,000-fold? Is there a viable business here?

Right now all I have is questions, no answers:

Does more humid air yield water at a lower unit cost than dry air?
How does this technology work, anyway?
What are the economics of such a business?
How does it compare to taking water from the ground with wells? Or from springs? Or from reservoirs?
What are the total economic costs of the diferent ways of “mining” water, including all long-term environment costs? (The depletion of aquifers is a huge problem in some areas, such as the Great Plains. Reservoirs cost a lot to build and maintain.)

What does water from the air it taste like?
Does it taste different in different places?
How does the chemistry of water distilled from the air compare with ground water? (I’m thinking mineral content, etc.)


One response to “Could NOLA’s humid air be an untapped natural resource?

  1. An answer or two, from Wikipedia:

    An Atmospheric water generator (AWG), or atmospheric condenser, produces pure drinking water from the humidity of the surrounding air.

    The amount of water that can be produced depends on the humidity, the volume of air passing through the coils, and the size of the machine and the temperature.

    The economy of an atmospheric water generator depends on the capacity of the machine and the air’s humidity and temperature. I might also add the cost of the eletricity needed to run the AWG. The power source could be wind or solar, as well as traditional.

    And here’s something I totally forgot: Luke Skywalker grew up on a “moisture farm”, with AWGs scattered about.

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