Billboards in Lima, Peru Turned Into Drinking Fountains

27 Feb 2013



The landscape of Lima, Peru is dry. Really dry. Like, less-than-2-inches-of-rainfall-a-year dry. The residents of the area are in a constant battle to gain access to potable drinking water. Dry wells are regularly dug up in search of hydration, but the success rate is staggeringly low. With all of these marks against the area, it’d be understandable to write Lima off your “dream holiday” list. But hold the phone. The area isn’t necessarily all dry. It just depends on where you look. May we suggest looking up?

The air in Lima holds a whopping average of 98% humidity, year round. That’s a whole lot of moisture that’s going by unused, day in and day out. So the brains at UTEC devised a plan. It included some pretty unorthodox measures taken and a yet-to-be-named technology, which utilizes existing billboard space to convert air humidity into drinking water. It went a little something like this . . .

While this technology seems somewhat obvious in retrospect, it’s not been attempted until now.  Was the technology too difficult to pull-off? Is the cost prohibitive? Where is the water kept? Since we’re no engineering gurus, we figured it’d be best to just hand it over to Gizmodo and let them break down the tech side of things:

“A series of five tanks located at the top of the tower can store up to 96 liters of water at any given time, and the liquid reserves are accessible from a single faucet located at the base of the billboard.”

Let’s face it: Billboards have a pretty bad rap. What with the threat of ad pollution looming in every major metro around the globe, they’re having a much more difficult time justifying their existence these days. So, needless to say, a little good PR in these trying times could only help. Even if you have to travel to the desert land of Lima, Peru to get it.

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