The Arizona Republic
Sept. 25, 2023
Water from thin air? It's one possible solution for rural Arizonans who need access
A new technology called atmospheric water generation extracts moisture from the air to produce water, even in the dry Sonoran Desert. Proponents hope it can provide reliable access to safe drinking water in tribal or remote rural communities or cities suffering from plumbing poverty. Water quality violations are also more common in water systems serving fewer than 3,000 people, according to a graduate research study from the University of Arizona. Meanwhile, the University of Arizona, led by Karletta Chief, a prominent Diné scholar and the director of the university's Indigenous Resilience Center, collaborated with Diné College on a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to train the next generation of scientists and engineers to address the water, food and energy needs of people living on Navajo Nation. "When we talk about sustainability, about doing projects with communities, the most important part is actually the communities being part of the equation," said Vasiliki Karanikola, part of the Indige-FEWSS program and a chemical and University of Arizona environmental engineering professor.