In Jamaica, bottled water is often seen as a necessity, even though the country struggles so much with plastic pollution that the government recently implemented a countrywide ban on plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam. At the children’s ward of a local hospital, for example, tap water isn’t safe to drink for children with compromised immune systems. It also isn’t available reliably. But the hospital now has a new source of readily available, clean drinking water: It’s using solar-powered “hydropanels” on the roof that pull moisture from the air . “We’re not only solving for resilient drinking water but also reducing plastic waste,” says Cody Friesen, CEO of Zero Mass Water , the startup that makes the technology in use at the hospital, the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The project is the company’s first installation as part of the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator , a program that aims to build resilient infrastructure in the region while supporting economic growth. [Photo: Zero Mass Water] The company’s product, called Source, “use a material science approach that absorbs water from the atmosphere passively,” says Friesen, who is also an engineering professor at Arizona State University. Nanomaterials inside each […]


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