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A team of brilliant engineering students from Peru's University of Engineering and Technology have transformed a mundane billboard into a water station - A lifesaver for the residents of the desert mega city, Lima.
The brainchild of the creative director of Peru's advertising agency Mayo DraftFCB, the billboard is a brilliant way to 'kill two birds with one stone' - Convince more students to join the school by demonstrating the cool things engineers can do to solve real-life problems and, provide some respite to the residents of Lima, a city that receives less than 0.5 inches of rainfall, annually.
The best part is that the water is not drawn up from some underground reserve but made from 'thin air'- literally. That's because while Lima may not get much precipitation, its atmospheric humidity can get as high as 98%, making it a rich water source if harvested effectively, something the engineers seem to have accomplished rather well.
Five generators fitted inside the billboard capture the moisture from the air and convert it into water with the help of a condenser. A built-in air and carbon filter helps remove any impurities making the water safe to consume. Once ready, the water is transferred to one of the five storage tanks that sit on top of the billboard. When residents want some fresh water, all they have to do, is turn on the tap and the liquid is transported from the storage tanks to their bottles - An unheard of luxury in this desert city. Since the billboard was put up about three months ago, it has dispensed over 9,500 liters of water! Engineers sure are cool!
Resources: phsy.org, inhabitat.com