Zero Mass Water's hydropanels on Atauro island, near East Timor, in the summer of 2019. Photo Credit: Zero Mass Water

EnvironmentTechnology East Timor3. August 2020

Air and Sunlight Is All This Island Needs to Make Clean Water

A project launched in June is tackling the water shortages faced in the remote little island of Atauro, located off the coast of Asia’s East Timor, through a technology that transforms sunlight and air into drinking water.

“The people living on Atauro have not had the opportunity to drink clean water that is not packaged in plastic,” says Rob Bartrop, chief revenue officer at Zero Mass Water, the U.S. tech firm running the project alongside a non-profit called Conservation International. “For the first time … they have a renewable source of water they can rely on.”

The project produces 12,000 liters of clean water each month by absorbing water from the air and using the sun’s power, in turn reducing Atauro’s waste of – and dependency on – plastic water bottles. Although the technology is now available in over 35 countries, the project in Atauro is among the first especially designed to fulfill the drinking needs of an entire community.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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