Lima billboard is tapped for drinking water

February 25, 2013 by Nancy Owano, report

(—A billboard in Lima, Peru, created by ad agency Mayo DraftCFB in collaboration with the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC), captures the air's humidity and turns it into potable water for Lima residents. Lima is referred to as a "desert megacity" where many residents cope with inadequate access to clean drinking water. The agency and university formed a team to produce what they refer to as the first billboard that produces drinking-water out of air.

inside the process the air and filter it into water, stored and drawn by residents at the bottom of the billboard. The system has an air filter, a condenser and a carbon filter. The system is designed to generate 96 liters of water per day for the .

A video showing the project presents more of the details. "Each generator captures the ," said a team member, "and from there it goes through a reverse osmosis system; each tank stores about 20 liters." Five generators' purified water is gathered into one tank.

The collaboration is motivated by a need for many of the city's local residents for clean in an area where the presence of rain is almost zero. Lima and surrounding villages are in a "coastal desert "of Peru. The partnership of an ad agency with a university stemmed from Peru's UTEC need to come up with a solution to motivate students to apply for its engineering program. A UTEC motto is, "We will continue changing the world through engineering." The water-bearing billboard promotes the capabilities of UTEC.

While this is a local initiative, a more far-reaching response has been announced, in the form of an ambitious plan under way to address Lima's water issues, Peru's state water company plans to invest $3.3 billion in Lima's water and infrastructure in over the next three years. According to the Ministry of Housing, about 700,000 Lima residents lack access to potable water, while another 600,000 rely only on water cisterns. The investment will allow for 148 water projects, to be overseen by Sedapal, the state-owned water utility company The company will build reservoirs, wells and water-treatment plants as well as replace 3,000 miles of water pipes in Lima.

Explore further: Copenhagen tap water safe again after E.coli scare: city

More information: … ra-agua-potable.html … ater-infrastructure/

Related Stories

French company uses wind turbine to create fresh water

May 1, 2012

( -- French company Eole Water has announced that they have developed and are now in the process of selling wind turbines that have been modified to produce fresh drinking water. Company reps say the new turbines ...

Self-filling water bottle takes cues from desert beetle

November 25, 2012

(—Biomimicry is the term given to using nature as an inspiration for sustainable technology ideas, and a young company has joined the biomimicry brigade with its prototype self filling water bottle, which mimics ...

Recommended for you

China auto show highlights industry's electric ambitions

April 22, 2018

The biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese ...

Robot designed for faster, safer uranium plant pipe cleanup

April 21, 2018

Ohio crews cleaning up a massive former Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant in Ohio plan this summer to deploy a high-tech helper: an autonomous, radiation-measuring robot that will roll through miles of large overhead ...

Virtually modelling the human brain in a computer

April 19, 2018

Neurons that remain active even after the triggering stimulus has been silenced form the basis of short-term memory. The brain uses rhythmically active neurons to combine larger groups of neurons into functional units. Until ...

'Poker face' stripped away by new-age tech

April 14, 2018

Dolby Laboratories chief scientist Poppy Crum tells of a fast-coming time when technology will see right through people no matter how hard they try to hide their feelings.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2013
So in an already arid environment even more moisture is taken from the air through the billboard?

But it does give people water to drink ... instead of biological imperative of simply moving to a more hospitable environment
1 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2013
So in an already arid environment even more moisture is taken from the air through the billboard?

As opposed to that moisture doing exactly nothing? I'd say that's an improvement.

Looks like Dune-style windtraps are going to be in Lima's future.

instead of biological imperative of simply moving to a more hospitable environment

Not all decisions are "biological imperatives". Lima is situated -like many cities- at the mouth of a river (several rivers in this case) with attendant port facilities.

Economy dictates where a city is situated, not biological factors.
not rated yet Feb 25, 2013
So in an already arid environment even more moisture is taken from the air through the billboard?

Lima's air is actually extremely humid year round. So much so that the humidity can cause problems (molds, difficulty drying things). It almost never rains in Lima but that does not mean it is not humid. Arid, yes. Humid, yes.
3 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2013
If they yes used some of this water to drip irrigate some trees they trees would re transpire the water to the atmosphere along with aerosols which encourage droplet nucleation. This would propose rain and the drop in pressure of condensing water in the atmosphere would suck more moisture laden air in and up from the ocean. They would have an orchard of some sort AND more rain.
3 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2013
Advise to Lima residents: Move, otherwise you're just an idiota.
not rated yet Feb 25, 2013
I have to wonder if the negative posters understand that a lot of the people there don't have the resources to move. And as to water, it certainly exists, but it's not clean enough for drinking, and the situation isn't a lot better in most of the country. The lack of clean water among the poor is not new or uncommon anywhere in the world.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2013
5 generators to produce 96 liters of water a day doesn't sound like good economics. how much gas is used by the generators? I guess it works for advertising though if you want people to see the billboard more than you care about helping the environment, and maybe someday it can advance to a more energy efficient way to get water, such as an aquaduct from a nearby river that's not polluted.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 26, 2013

you always have the resources to move as long as your legs work. you may not want to do so. You may not like leaving things you like behind and forced to travel with only the things you need. Refugees travel hundreds of miles to escape war. Once conditions get bad enough humans remember that the only thing they need to leave a bad area is the will power to get up off their butt.

But they like living there.. they choose to live there... given the choice I would not.. but then again if i grew up there i probably would not move ... unless i was having issues getting water on a daily basis.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2013
Are you idiots so uneducated that you have no concept of the fact that Lima Peru was established BEFORE, LONG BEFORE the Spanish conquest? Damn people get an education. If your that uneducated you sure the hell not capable of understanding not even to mention anything that you read on this web site.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2013
you always have the resources to move as long as your legs work.

Work (depending on what your vocation is) can not be found just anywhere.
Educational opportunities cannot be found just anywhere.
Medical facilities (if you need them on a regular basis) cannot be found just anywhere.

Not everyone is mobile to the point of just saying "Screw this. I'll just spend a few 10k dollars and move my family elsewhere". Not everyone has these means.

And social ties are also quite valuable. Moving all the way accross the country does impact those negatively in a big way.

There's a lot of gradations in these things before you get to the point where the kinds of bonuses that a city confers are outweighed by one other factor (be it price of water or crime or whatnot)
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2013

you totally missed my point -- you do not need money to move

you can literally walk any distance you desire.. much like war refugees who just walk away from the area

noone said 10k -- you did
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2013
The point is that people have ties.
If you have debts (like many do) then you cannot just "up and leave". Unless you have a job offer elsewhere which allows you to keep making payments just leaving will mean defaulting on your debt (which might even cause you to go to jail). So yeah - you might just walk away - but the police is going to drag you back a few days later.

Just walking away is only a theoretical possibility for some - not a practical one.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.