Infinite water out of thin air

12,800 trillion litres of water is readily available in the atmosphere.

Hypothetically, even if we suck out the moisture from the entire planet, it can be replenished within a few weeks.

So, atmospheric water generators are a way to ‘tap’ into this infinite water source. They work by condensing humidity from the air.

The pure form of water can be harvested this way. Minerals must be added to make it consumable. Other filtration methods could be optionally used.

Out of the top 10 most humid cities in the world, 7 are from India. All South Indian cities have nearly more than 70% humidity.

If coupled with solar / other renewable sources, the water can be generated with zero emissions and zero wastage

So, India’s tropical climate makes it more conducive to use these atmospheric water gadgets

For the time being, ignore household installations, why aren’t corporates looking at this? Actually, their air conditioning load in the offices will also be reduced (FYI, one of the functions of an air conditioner is to remove the humidity from the room and that’s the reason it discharges water)

Just a one-time investment is required. To encourage widespread use, don’t you think that the policymakers must consider subsidizing these?


This looks fascinating. Have a few questions -

  1. Have there been some studies on what could be potential downsides on harvesting water at scale like this? Does doing this in a certain area have implications on humidity levels?
  2. When we are doing this indoors (with a co-benefit of reduced AC bills), would the reduced humidity
    mean lead to discomfort?
  3. What do the energy requirements of these technologies look like for now?

WOW! Does this mean just installing a unit like this would automatically mean lesser cooling needs within offices? What are some other factors that would have to be taken into account for this to work out.

In highly humid places like India, Contrary to what one might think, the core function of an air conditioner is to take away unwanted heat & humidity from the room. The moisture in our room is discharged in the form of Water from the AC drain.

Air conditioner functioning is similar to the atmospheric water generators.


No discomfort at all. Having high humidity is not ideal for health and comfort. Only a moderate amount of moisture is preferred.

For residential usage, electricity is manageable. 3x compared to your RO though. But, you are saving on the water charges and not wasting any water during purification. However, for commercial usage, it’s viable if the source of electricity is renewable. That’s the reason it must be subsidized to at least partially cover the initial costs.

These gadgets are very handy in deserted/isolated locations where they do not have access to water. They can use solar to power it up.

In countries like Singapore, tap water is sourced from sewage treatment plants. An apartment in Bangalore also does the same. When hit with a water crisis, people will certainly prefer these and may not choose water from STPs.

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Water-from-air has been a low-tech practice for centuries and has been an active area of research for a while long time too. There are many commercial solutions already available, but the problem is the external energy input required to extract water in low humidity areas.

The super low-tech “fog catchers” in the Atacama desert are a famous example of this.


I wonder how easily accessible this is and at what scale? I’d love to read more.

Both commercial and domestic SKUs of Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) are available in India. The upfront cost is relatively high but pays off over time