New technology pulls water from air instead of ground sources
ABILENE, Texas - AID Water Global, a company from Spain, unveiled the newest way to retrieve drinking water in Colorado City on Wednesday. Instead of traditional methods of pulling water from underground sources or the ocean, Atmospheric Water Generation Technology pulls water out of the humidity available in the air. " We happen to have a day that was 96 degrees with 30 percent humidity and we generated, we ran it, in cycle. It created 125 gallons in our harsh west Texas environment," said Joe Rivera, owner of AWG Technology. This innovation is not new for Colorado City. In 1884, the city was the first in Texas to deliver pressurized water to homes. This being the main reason Owners, John Vollmer and Rivera, a native to the city, wanted the technology to be revealed in Colorado City. " Colorado City could be the first in the United States to produce water from the atmosphere, maintaining that legend ," said Vollmer. Groundwater has been the main source of water in the state and the main reason for the construction of a Desalination plant in Mitchell County. "Instead of telling the grandkids to look down, have them look up. That's where the futures at," said Rivera. The technology requires at least 15-20 percent humidity and any kind of energy source to produce water. The only limitation, according to inventor and owner, Alexander Ermakov, is that the machine does not operate in freezing conditions when water becomes a solid. For $33,000, the AWG 250 can be purchased and produce up to 125 gallons of water in a day. The military grade, AWG 5000 can produce up to 2,000 gallons a day for $225,000. " Even in the harshest conditions, it's still going to generate water and still provide to people who desperately need it ," said Rivera. The AWG 550 was in use 5 days prior in Port Aransas to assist with hurricane relief efforts where it produced water at twice the predicted amount. 120 gallons of water were procured in 12 hours. "W e stayed out there and passed out as much water as we could possibly do ," said Rivera. Next, they head to Rockport and Sealy to continue aiding the National Guard stationed there. The machines are so efficient, Vollmer says the cost of water per gallon is down to 3-5 cents. "Our nearest competitor is 10 times that and five times the cost to produce it ," said Vollmer. The company has also received all the approvals from governing bodies across the state to include the Texas Water Development Board, Lower Colorado River Authority, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "We had to do two independent tests. We did a 3-month test at Trinity University and we had to get the military approval. We're perfect. We failed nowhere ," said Vollmer. The company aims to break ground early in 2018, building a new plant in San Antonio, staffed first by veterans.