For most of the last two decades California has been in a state of drought and even scarier is the fact that the western U.S. is experiencing its worst drought in over 1,000 years. This is prompting intense scrutiny on what can be done to ensure a steady supply of water is always available during exceptionally dry periods.
California reservoir levels are currently at 10 million acre-feet of water. That sounds like a lot. The system can store 21 million acre-feet of water, putting the state at 48% of capacity. Plus, 63% of California wells are at historic lows. Not good.
The relentless heat is driving the western U.S. toward more intense drought by pulling moisture from the land surface via evaporation — drawing down water supplies and increasing wildfire risks. Due to such dry conditions, California has been engulfed in massive, record-breaking blazes in recent years. Again, not good.
So what is the solution to these ever-worsening drought conditions which affect all Californians, and honestly, the world as a whole?
Worldwide there are a little over 3 billion acre-feet of fresh water in lakes, rivers, and groundwater. That’s less than 30% of the total fresh water in the world. In the atmosphere all around us, there are over 10 billion acre-feet of fresh water. You can visually see it as clouds, fog, and morning dew on your lawn. But even when you don’t see it, it’s there. California has an average humidity of 61% meaning there’s a lot of water in the air waiting for us to turn it into usable water.
Unlocking the water from the air around us has been in existence for a number of years although it’s been somewhat cost-prohibitive because of the amount of energy it takes. The premise is similar to squeezing the water out of a wet sponge. The more you squeeze or compress the sponge, the more water comes out until the sponge is dry.
With air, increasing pressure forces the same number of air molecules into a smaller volume leaving insufficient area for the water to occupy. The lighter water molecules are forced from a vapor to a more dense liquid phase.
For the last ten years AWE Industries, LLC has been developing and vetting its method of harnessing the power of the wind to compress air, in turn producing both utility-scale electricity and water.
The AWE technology uses air compression to extract water vapor and collect liquid water. As mentioned, air compression to collect water is not a new process. What is new is the integration of clean energy production, plus water extraction.
Existing water extraction technologies require an energy source. The AWE tech generates that energy on its own, as a stand-alone, with no need for any other source of outside energy or fuel.
AWE devices process billions of cubic feet of air in the compression operation. Water vapor is extracted in two processes. The first operation is condensation prior to compression to dewater the air. The second is the compression process. The greater the volume of air the greater the amount of available water vapor that can be extracted.
The untreated water collected can be used directly for irrigation and industrial processing. Or by simply filtering and treating the collected water, it can be used in local communities.
The water in the atmosphere is everywhere, so the ability of the AWE technology to tap into this ample supply means a supply of fresh water can now be everywhere. No dams, reservoirs, cross-country pipelines, or pump stations. Droughts will persist but the devastation caused will be minimized if not eliminated.
The patented AWE constant power output technology is far greater than existing renewable technologies and cheaper. It’s a radically unique, efficient, and practical method of harnessing the power of the wind. AWE devices store portions of the captured wind energy, allowing the continuous generation of electricity to be augmented to deliver increased power during peak demand times. It can be a primary source of electricity, and it’s designed to operate and produce electricity in wind conditions as low as 2 mph. Best of all, it can produce electricity in almost any condition, even with no wind for up to 14 days.
Never before in history has there been a renewable energy technology that successfully addresses both energy and water challenges that humanity is facing. The beauty is that AWE systems can be installed virtually anywhere power or water is needed. Unlike other renewable technologies, like wind turbines, solar, and hydroelectric, there are almost zero restrictions.
AWE systems are not for sale. The company works as independent water and power producer and will finance the building of the system that can work in the current infrastructure for the delivery of water and power and in many instances the water can be free.
An AWE device on only one acre of land can produce 650 million gallons of water per year. A city like Los Angeles, including residential, commercial, and industrial water use, consumes 600 million gallons of water a day. AWE could deliver the needed daily water usage for L.A. on as little as 300 acres of land, (less than half a square mile).
AWE is working with the country of Papua New Guinea to build a device there in 2023. This will provide supplemental water and power for a country of 9 million people where a large percentage of the population is without reliable electricity and water.
With California and the western U.S. in dire need of water, it seems unimaginable that cities and counties haven’t made an AWE device a top priority, especially since there are no out-of-pocket costs to their budgets. Guaranteed, someone will make it happen. Hopefully, it isn’t too late to save everything California has to offer the world.
For more information on what AWE Industries is up to, visit their website at http://www.the-awe.com