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Colombians line up for a sip.

Drinking water out of thin air: technology changing poor villages around the world

Poor and neglected towns around the world now have access to clean drinking water. And, it’s appearing out of thin air.

After a decade of development, a company called “Watergen” has created an incredible machine that creates water by pulling it out of the atmosphere. The company’s easily transportable GEN-M machine can make up to 800 liters of water every day  –  enough to provide fresh drinking water to isolated poor communities that do not have access to clean water. It even works in desert climates.

In September, guests of the Metro Voice tour of Israel experienced the technology first-hand at the Taglit Innovation Centre in Tel Aviv. WaterGen was one of dozens of inventions from Israel that the group experienced, that are transforming lives around the world – including in Colombia.

Guests on the Metro Voice tour to Israel in September listen to Shirley, a representative of the Taglit Innovation Center in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. She was explaining the new WaterGen technology.

“We know our product is unique and is the only atmospheric water generator that was willing to undergo the EPA’s rigorous testing. We have already worked with US government agencies after disasters to assist people with clean water and in reducing the use of plastic bottles around the globe,”  said Ed Russo, CEO Watergen’s US office.

Russo was joined by Executive Chairman of Watergen, Maxim Pasik who added, “This product will revolutionize the way drinking water is delivered in homes around the globe.  No longer will you need to carry five-gallon water jugs into your home or office.  Our plug and play unit is the clear efficient solution. We are pleased the CES committee recognized the uniqueness of our product line.”

This smaller Watergen version that the tour group saw at the Taglit Innovation Center makes and holds eight gallons of water. There is an even smaller version that can be carried on a soldier’s back and works on solar power.

The company sees water availability as a problem facing humanity and their technology can alleviate that problem. The company’s innovative technology taps into the air as the solution, which is an unlimited resource for fresh water. The products are completely independent, requiring no infrastructure except electricity making it usable by anyone. The electricity can easily be supplied by solar panels which can store the energy to run the process overnight or on cloudy days.

The families of El Talento, a small town next to the Colombian city of Cúcuta were just as amazed as our tour group! They got their first taste of this machine when it was introduced to their community earlier this month. Andrés Suárez, Pastor of the Christian Center and general manager of the alliance project with the state of Israel in Colombia, partnered with the company to bring fresh water to El Talento.

The community held a big event to try out the life-giving machine and to express their love for the Jewish state.

Pastor Suárez said bringing the machine to the people of his community in Cúcuta was only possible thanks to two events that occurred in 2016 and 2018. The events were held to discuss how Colombia can strengthen its ties to Israel.

“At both events, we talked about the potential and challenges of Colombia’s territory, North Santander Department, as well as about Israeli technology and innovation providing very good solutions to pressing problems,” explained Suárez. “We seek to harness Israeli technology in water, agriculture, livestock, communications and other industries, all of which could be adapted to the needs of our region.”

GEN-M will pass through Cúcuta and will be transported to La Guajira Department in northeastern Colombia. It will stay there for three months to help the communities in that region.

Watergen is not just helping Colombia. It is going all around the world to provide safe drinking water to those in need no matter their race or religion. It’s currently in operation in Mexico, India, Vietnam, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and China.

The technology is also changing lives in Sierra Leone, West Africa. In this poor nation, the life expectancy is 56-years-old – one of the lowest in the world. One of the leading causes for death is water pollution. Half of the population has no access to clean drinking water. Much of its water has been contaminated by mining and chemicals used for agriculture. Sierra Leone’s water sources are often unprotected wells, ponds or freestanding water, a breeding ground for water borne infections and parasites. This one of the reasons many in the country contract diseases such as Typhoid Fever and Hepatitis A.

The U.S. government is looking at using the technology as part of FEMA response to natural disasters where drinking water cannot be trucked in.

Watergen was named in the World Economic Forum’s list of the world’s top technology pioneers in 2018.
–Dwight Widaman
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