Warka Tower is designed to harvest water from the atmosphere (rain, fog, dew) providing an alternative water source for rural populations that face challenges accessing drinkable water.
The design adapts to the local meteorological conditions, the geomorphological characteristic of the site, and the local culture. It is a passive structure, it functions only by natural phenomena such as gravity, condensation & evaporation. Easy to maintain it is operated autonomously by the villagers.
The root cause of developing countries’s major health problems is the spread of diseases perpetuated by the lack of clean water and sanitation systems. Often contaminated by human and animal waste, water quality is severely poor. The impact of tainted water on the health of communities is shocking. Each year, many children die of diarrhea and other illnesses, such as malnutrition, pneumonia and malaria.
Air always contains a certain amount of water vapor, irrespective of local ambient temperatures and humidity conditions. This makes it possible to produce water from air almost anywhere in the world. Locations with high rates of fog or humidity are the best places to install the Warka Tower. The water harvesting capacity strictly depends on the meteorological conditions and the aim is to distribute from 40 to 80 liters (10 to 20 gallons) of drinking water every day for use of the community.
Since 2012, we have developed several design concepts and constructed 12 full-scale prototypes in order to test different materials within varying environmental conditions. We use the most advanced tools for the design and simulations, as well as physical prototypes to test the durability of the materials.
Warka Tower is realized with natural, biodegradable and 100% recyclable materials. Our design philosophy and challenge is to use only local materials.
The tower is also designed to be easily built with simple tools and maintained by local villagers without the need of scaffolding or electrical tools.
HOW IT WORKS
Warka Tower is designed to harvest potable water from the atmosphere (it collects rain, harvests fog and dew). It functions only by natural phenomena such us gravity, condensation & evaporation and doesn’t require electrical power. Warka Tower is designed to be owned and operated by the villagers, a key factor that will facilitate the success of the project. The tower not only provides a fundamental resource for life – water – but also creates a social place for the community, where people can gather under the shade of its canopy for education and public meetings.
The Warka Tower is designed to be constructed on site using, as much as possible, local and natural materials that are biodegradable.
WARKA TOWER 1
The Warka Tower, version n. 1, it is the first prototype developed. It modular and prefabricated system that can be erected in one day by a team of 6 people. After installation, to take the tower up and down for maintenance it requires only 2 hours by the same team. The structure consists of 4 modules that are mounted together with one after another from the bottom up.
WARKA TOWER 3
The Warka Tower, version n. 3, it is a modular and prefabricated system that can be erected in one day by a team of 16 people. After installation, to take the tower up and down for maintenance it requires only 2 hours by the same team. The structure consists of six modules that are mounted together with one after another from the bottom up.
Warka Tower 4
The Warka Tower, version n. 4, has been constructed in Cameroon and inaugurated 15 October 2019.
The costs for the realization of a Warka Tower varies depending on the place where it is built. The variables are the environmental context, the local labor and material costs and them availability. The first pilots in a new geographical context for us implies additional costs due to the logistic and initial set up.