Dew and rainwater traps – Warka Tower and Chaac Ha

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Dew traps in deserts

Deserts receive > 10 inches of rain in an year. For people living in deserts, finding water is vital.While there are no lakes or rivers in a desert, water still exists in the form of water vapor, humidity, or dew. Dew are small droplets of water that form on surfaces during the night. Desert air cools down during the nights and water vapor condenses  into dew on leaves, flowers, and other surfaces.

People in deserts collect dew in dew traps, which are holes dug in the ground that are lined with material like cloth or clay. These dew traps collect water that condenses on the lining material.

While these local solutions help to an extent, water scarcity is still a global issue and needs to be handled on a larger, economical and efficient scale.

Warka Tower

Warka Water Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is focusing on finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the water scarcity issue.

The Warka Tower is a vertical spiral structure that can collect dew from the air and turn it into potable drinking water. In addition, it serves as shade to the community. If equipped with solar panels, the tower can also be used to generate electricity. An edible garden design that can be sustained with some of the Tower’s water has also been implemented. In other words, the Warka Tower can supply water, shade, electricity and food.

The Warka Tower is mainly constructed of locally available, biodegradable materials like bamboo, hemp and bio-plastic.
To learn more, visit and watch the video below.


 Chaac Ha Water Collector

Another innovative design, this time by students from the Yucatan region of Southern Mexico is the Chaac Ha water collector. It is a water collection system described by its designers, Team Panteras, as “a device that collects rainwater and dew, taking advantage of Yucatan’s wet weather. [It] is able to collect at least 2.5 liters of water per night.”  The Chaac Ha rainwater harvesting concept was the winner of the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop Award  for the 2012-2013 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge. It is a simple, elegant, and locally appropriate solution to rainwater collection. To learn more, read this article at AskNature.

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