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Gathering Water

  1. Apr 27, 2005 #1
    Umm, my house have no water supply again.

    So, i though of this....
    I have electricity, and the surrounding air is around 28 to 32 degree Celsius. How can i produce water?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2005 #2


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    You need something with hydrogen, e.g. natural gas or paper or gasoline. Burn it and collect the combustion products. There will be water. Frankly I don't recommend it. You would be better off going to a store and buying some bottled water.
  4. Apr 27, 2005 #3


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    Do you mean you want to make it through condensation? Turn on an air conditioner.
  5. Apr 29, 2005 #4
    I had thought of that, but the rate of water generated is too slow. Any faster approach?
  6. Apr 29, 2005 #5
    You need to state how much water you need and the price you are willing to pay.

    Getting one or several large dehumidifiers should give you plenty of water unless the air is very dry.
  7. Apr 29, 2005 #6


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    I've seen massive 'water gatherers' on hillsides in tropical regions, - they're basically huge wooden structures framing some kind of cloth, - mist gets blown over these by the wind, and the moisture in the air gets captured, where it trickles down a series of channels into some kind of collecting device.

    Only works in really humid places though.
  8. May 1, 2005 #7


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    To fulfill the requirements of a household, I would seriously suggest that you consult a local geologist as to the feasibility of drilling a well. There should be water somewhere under you. If it's within a few thousand feet, all you need is a good pump and a holding tank. Mount the tank above house level and use gravity feed for your taps. (I had a system like that in one of my homes. The tank was about 500 gallons and just about roof level. We didn't have the same sort of pressure that a municipal supply would provide, but it was adequate.)
    The house that I live in now, which was built by my grandfather in 1911, is on municipal supply, but I have a 120ft deep well with an old rusted-out hand pump in the side yard just in case. It can never dry out.
  9. May 5, 2005 #8
    The use of a well, very impressive. But i think that's not suitable for everyone, especially for those not living on the ground (i.e. condominium). However, i believe that is a very good approach, provided there is no pollution around and u have some space in ur garden.

    There is always fog around in the early morning, but sadly i cant gather much of the water. So, i guess the air is not humid egnough. And i think some have already evaporate when i gather them. Since the temperature here is a bit hot.

    And of coz, the burning method is way too dangerous and need some flamable materials, which also hard and expensive to get here. There will be pollution if the burning is not complete. So the method is out.

    The dehumidifier is too costly. besides, will it change the surrounding air significantly? Become really dry?

    My house always switch on the Air-con, so seems like i can gather the by-product, water. Anyhow, is there a way to increase the water produced?

    Thank you.
  10. May 5, 2005 #9


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    If you have a lot of fog, the air is definitely humid enough. It's over 100% humidity, so the fog has condensed out. There's also dew to be considered. I don't know how much water would be available, because it depends upon the area involved, but the following would probably maximize your collection efficiency.
    Take a sheet of plastic that's as big as you can get away with and stretch it across 4 corner posts a few feet above the ground. Closer to the ground would be better, but you need clearance for the collector bucket. Make a 1/4" hole right in the middle (reinforced so a tear won't develop), and let the centre sag to a few inches below the post height like an inverted umbrella. Place your collector bucket under the hole.
    Water should condense on both surfaces of the sheet and run down to the middle. The stuff on the underside will just drop into the bucket, and the stuff on top will fall through the hole. You would get a lot more if there was also some way that you could chill the sheet.
    If that's a bit obscure, let me know and I'll post a diagram. :approve:
  11. May 5, 2005 #10
    if you have a refrigirator without defroster , then leave it open, it will collect a lot of ice. But I am not sure how long will the porr thing last. I guess that you have electricity for free...
  12. May 11, 2005 #11
    Danger, there's a few question i would like to ask.
    First, must it be a hole of 1/4"?
    Second, does the shape of the plastic matter?
    Third , does the glossy and color of the plastic matter? Would it be better if transparent?
    Fourth, is there any theory behind this?
    Fifth, I hav watched tis method used in a science talks, does this technique has a name?

  13. May 11, 2005 #12


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    -The size of the hole is not critical
    -The shape is not critical as long as it approximates an inverted umbrella
    -Transparent would be better - at night radiation will cause the air under the umbrella to be cooler than the air around it. During the day it will be hotter under the plastic, driving water out of the ground where it will condense on the cooler plastic.
    -Yes, the theory behind it is that the plastic traps the moisture in the ground. If you've ever driven past a farmer's field in the spring, you'll find neat rows of plastic covering the crops for partially the same reason (the other reason is to avoid frost). Its also the same reason greenhouses often have condensation on the walls at night.
    Last edited: May 11, 2005
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