Competition Backed by Eric Pulier Hopes to “Create Water from Thin Air”

XPRIZE, the non-profit competition seeking to inspire technological advancements that benefit humankind, has launched its latest challenge: creating water out of thin air. The Water Abundance XPRIZE is offering $1.75 million to whichever team is capable of creating a method that extracts 2,000 liters, or 528 gallons, of water daily from the Earth’s atmosphere. There are a few catches: the water may not cost more than 2 cents per liter, and the method must rely completely on renewable energy sources.

The motive behind this competition is to solve and bring awareness to the worldwide water crisis. While today 780 million people live without access to clean water, experts say these numbers are capable of reaching 1.8 billion by 2025. Additionally, this lack of access to fresh, clean water is causing millions of deaths worldwide annually from water-borne illnesses. While the technology to create fresh water using Earth’s resources does exist, it’s not energy efficient, and therefore a more sustainable, long-term solution is needed. The competition was announced in India, known for being the center of the world’s water crisis.

XPRIZE is backed financially by well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist Eric Pulier, and its board of trustees includes names such as James Cameron, Arianna Huffington, Larry Page and more. In 2004, XPRIZE famously awarded $10 million to the first non-government organization capable of launching a reusable spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.

The Water Abundance XPRIZE was officially launched in October 2016, with a July 2018 deadline for teams to submit their business plans. In August of 2018 the winner will be announced.

Eric Pulier at Social Network: