Water is one of the basic needs for survival but not all places have a rich supply of water. Arid areas scarcely receive any water all year round and it would be very difficult and expensive to build irrigation systems.
So a group of researchers from Ohio State University set to find solutions and they need not look far. They simply observed how nature survives in such places:
“We thought: ‘How can we gather water from the ambient air around us?’” said Bharat Bhushan, Ohio Eminent Scholar and Howard D. Winbigler, Professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State. “And so, we looked to the things in nature that already do that: the cactus, the beetle, desert grasses.”
The cactus, beetle and desert grasses all collect water condensed from nighttime fog, gathering droplets from the air and filtering them to roots or reservoirs, providing enough hydration to survive.
And so they tested out the idea. The results seemed favorable although it has only been done inside a lab. It would take a bit more resources to scale it up but if they are able to make a large model, it might solve the issue of water supply in many regions of the world.
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)