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H2E Technical Documentation Set

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Over 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. H2E was a project at X that aimed to tackle this challenge by creating a device that individual households could use to harvest water from the air. The team aimed to build a highly lightweight, portable, cheap (<5% of user’s income) device that an individual could use to produce 5L of drinking water per day.


This is no longer an active project at X, so we are releasing our technical documents to allow others to build on our progress to date. To do so, we have made the following

items public:

  • Nature paper with key findings
  • Tools/code that enabled findings shared in the paper, and others in the AWH community can use, including:
  1. “AWH-Geo” which can estimate the water output over time of any AWH device. This can then be used to estimate the potential user base and impact of an AWH device. On GitHub
  2. “JMP GeoProcessor” which uses geographic information systems (GIS) to process the UNICEF/WHO data and join them to proper geographic boundaries. In FigShare
  3. Much of the data analysis code used to produce the figures & charts in the study. On GitHub
  • Two datasets on FigShare
  • Hardware assembly documentation
  1. CAD files of our prototype device: These can be found in the folder called “CAD_files”
  2. “Assembly_documentation.pdf”, this document details our prototype assembly process and learnings


Data and geospatial tools around access to safe drinking water are provided here to aid academic reproducibility and advancement in the context of the Nature Paper “Global Potential of Harvesting Drinking Water from Air using Solar Energy”. They should not be used for decision making without extensive validation. This caveat applies even more strongly outside the field of atmospheric water generation, where assumptions and approximations made may not be suitable . Users are encouraged to use the official public sources (primarily WHO/UNICEF JMP) from which they are derived.


Data and results capture a snapshot at the time of research, and are compiled at the time of publication (2021-10-27). They will not be updated, even as underlying realities change.


The prototype described here is a purely experimental device. While substitutions and modifications are reasonably straightforward, water harvested with this experimental device is not intended to be ingested. Among other design choices, adhesives were selected for experimental performance and would need to be substitued with ones meeting food grade standards.


The views expressed in the paper and co-released documentation are the author’s, and not necessarily the views of authors’ employers.


Download: h2e_technical_documentation-main.zip




git clone https://github.com/google/h2e_technical_documentation.git



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