The global solution to drought -making water out of nothing

A Catalan inventor has created a brand new system that transforms humidity into water, Hydromatch. It acts like a giant air conditioning system, able to produce 500,000 liters an hour. According to its inventor, the machinery can work almost everywhere with at least 20% of humidity, which includes many deserts.


December 13, 2010 10:18 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan inventor, Xavier Doló has launched a brand new creation on the market –a water manufacturing system that uses humidity. From absolutely nothing, Doló has come up with one of the future solutions to address the shortage of water worldwide. Known as the Hydromatch, it allows the atmosphere to cool, like as if it was a giant air conditioning system. When it reaches dew point, the water is then collected, filtered and mineralised. Then it is ready to be consumed. The machinery is ready “to supply an entire city”. In the words of Doló, the Hydromatch “will provide water to the places where it doesn't rain”.  The average production capacity is 500,000 liters of water an hour.

These figures correspond to the latest calculation that Doló made for a city in the United Arab Emirates, a city with a population of 100,000 inhabitants and an average consumption of 120 liters a day. With these kind of examples, Doló wants to show how Hydromatch can save many problems in society: “Water is life, it is productivity. There are countries that have alimentary problems because of lack of water, something that often generates conflicts”.

Very conscious of the problem of climate change and the lack of natural resources, Doló believes that Hydromatch can provide solutions “without damaging the environment” and that it can help to alleviate the effects of climate change. “If one part of the water allocated to the plants can get pure oxygen through photosynthesis, it can purify the air and minimize the temperature of the atmosphere”.

Desert Water

The only factor that Doló can not control is the humidity at all times and in every place, but according to the inventor, the Hydromatch can work anywhere, where there is at least 20% humidity. Doló said that this percentage can be found almost everywhere and that “even in the desert there is moisture”.

The water, that is generated at each site will depend on customer demand and will be sent to the network as drinking water –100% drinking water or water for irrigation or for farmers. The Hydromatch plant has five different sections and can therefore produce five different qualities of water. Above all, Dola says, bottled water could be produced with labels of the original designations, like the Sahara, for example.

The only difference between the water produced in the desert with the water produced in the sea is the power needed to produce it. This would vary depending on humidity. Less moisture will mean more power would be needed on the ground meaning that investment would be higher in these sites. However the cost of water would vary. Doló estimates that it would cost around 0.76 euros per one thousand litres of water –a figure far below the cost of water produced by desalination. The repayment period of the plant would be between 10 and 12 years, depending on the humidity of where it is installed.

The first Hydromatch at the vineyards in Guadiana

Despite everything, Hydromatch still has a very short lifespan. In fact, there are no operating plants as of yet. The first will be built along the Guadiana River and would see the irrigation of the vineyards in the area. In this area, according to the ‘Special Plan of the Upper Guadiana’ wells will be forced to be shut down in order to restore aquifers. This will mean a shortage of water for the farmers in the area. 

One of the largest producers of vineyards in the area relies on the intervention of Doló to address this matter. “It will be a pilot project”, says Doló, “the first worldwide, and now we just need to finalise the details that have already been approved by the Spanish Ministry of Environment”. The creator of Hydromatch is confident that when the plant begins to operate, it will generate much more human interest.