Warka Water is a unique water catchment system which creates and stores potable water from rain, fog and dew. This project is led by the visionary Atturo Vittori of Italian design studio Architecture and Vision, who developed Warka Water to meet the specific needs of isolated communities in the North East region of Ethiopia. The lack of potable water in this region is a severe problem, forcing residents of rural communities to travel miles everyday to collect water from shallow, unprotected, and contaminated ponds. By observing the water-harvesting nano-scale structural features found on certain species of bugs and plants, Warka Water embarked on a mission of biomimicry to find materials and coatings that would allow for optimal dew condensation, water flow and storage.
The overall triangulated bamboo split-frame structure was inspired by termite hives, mimicking the shape, airflow, and geometry, as well as traditional Ethiopian basket-weaving techniques where their first project launched. The Warka Water system is made with a combination of local and bio-degradable materials, such as bamboo, hemp, metal-pins and bio-plastic. It can be constructed in 10 days by 10 people with simple non-electrical tools. Once functioning, the system relies entirely on natural phenomena such as gravity, condensation, and evaporation, and can hold up to 800 gallons (3000 litres) of water.
From : Warka Water
Having recently won the World Design Impact Prize (WDIP) 2015-2016 at the International Design Gala hosted in Taipei for the World Design Capital 2016, they are working on improving the current prototype, and eventually aim to expand their project to new regions of the world, including India, Indonesia, Nepal and Columbia. While adapting the structure to meet the different meteorological, topological, cultural and economic needs, they are determined to remain true to the philosophy of Warka Water. This means that, in addition to its water collection abilities, the Warka will be designed as a space for public gathering, with a canopy around the structure providing a place for communities to hold public meetings and educational classes. They are focused on creating a beautiful structure made of environmentally sustainable, locally sourced materials that can blend into the natural and cultural environments of rural communities.
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