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2021-09-23

Peru: A Billboard Produces Drinking Water

Three major landscape zones wind their way through the Andean nation of Peru: more than half of the land area is covered by the Amazon; the "Andean belt", the so-called "cordillera andina", runs through the center of the country. To the west of this is the Pacific coast, which makes up only about one tenth of the land area. Even so, it is precisely here, in the capital Lima, where almost a third of the population, about ten million Peruvians, the Limeños, live. 

Although Peru is considered one of the twenty most water-rich countries in the world, about seven to eight million Peruvians have no access to clean drinking water. One and a half million inhabitants of the capital are affected. Especially in the Chala Desert at the gates of Lima, there is an acute lack of water, and the winter months here are very humid with a humidity reaching almost one hundred percent. Researchers from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lima (UTEC) and the Mayo Publicidad agency have taken advantage of this circumstance: They have succeeded in developing the first billboard that condenses moisture from the air to obtain clean drinking water. This water billboard is currently located on the Panamericana, the longest road in the world. Using air and carbon filters, the water is captured, and filtered, and can be tapped and drunk directly from attached taps. In this way, 96 liters of clean drinking water can be obtained daily.

At our event, on November 5, 2021, at the Berlin Science Week, the Embassy of Peru will present this panel and the associated water harvesting. This can solve water treatment problems even in less humid desert areas.