Water from air: Israeli firm helps bring drinking water to Gaza

·1-min read

A machine developed by an Israeli firm that can turn air into water using only the power of the sun is helping to bring much-needed drinking-water to the Gaza Strip, where a lack of rainfall and poor infrastructure is leading to a worsening water crisis.

After capturing humidity, the machine condenses it into water and filters it instantly to make it safe to drink. It is also powered by solar panels, an asset in Gaza where the electricity supply is often unreliable.

Watergen, the Israeli firm behind the technology, has donated two machines, which cost $61,000 (€50,000) each, to Gaza.

Gaza's own supply of groundwater has been degraded by saltwater intrusion and contaminated by pollutants, and most available water is dangerous to drink – meaning many depend on imported bottled water.

Gaza has been blockaded by Israel since 2007 amid frequent conflicts between Israel and Gaza's rulers, Hamas.

But Watergen's Russian-Israeli owner, Michael Mirilashvili, says the company's goal is to help those in need of drinking water no matter where.

"Our goal [is] that everyone on Earth could be supplied with this drinkable water," he told AFP. "But of course, when this situation happens close to you, you feel it and it’s more visible. It was immediately clear we had to help first our neighbours, and then to spread it around the world."