Endless reservoir

Seeking sustainable water solutions, new technology pulls drinking water from the air

Access to clean drinking water remains a significant issue in the globalized economy. But by replacing large-scale infrastructure with the ability to create water on-site, Zero Mass Water may hold the key to overcoming it.

Water shortages could impact two-thirds of the world’s population by 2025, according to the United Nations, with far-reaching social and economic ramifications.

Two billion people lack reliable access to safe water, while more than four billion people experience extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year.

Arizona-based company, Zero Mass Water, Inc., has found a way to remove large-scale infrastructure like dams and salination plants from the equation, using SOURCE Hydropanels to extract humidity from the air and convert it into quality drinking water.

“Zero Mass Water has created an innovative solution using our planet’s most basic resources: the sun and air,” says Michael Silverton, Head of Macquarie Capital Americas. “This will generate drinking water in a variety of locations, from our own homes to the most remote parts of the world.”

Addressing a growing global problem

The United Nations cites four main drivers of increasing water scarcity – global population growth, continuing urbanization, rising domestic water use and climate change.

Zero Mass Water CEO, Cody Friesen, says the shortage of drinking water is therefore more widespread than people believe.

“Providing access to clean water is not an issue affecting only the poorer regions of the world,” he explains. “It’s bigger than that, and it’s increasingly a middle-income issue.”

Zero Mass Water's SOURCE technology is deployed across the globe for a multitude of uses.

The company worked with the Asian Development Bank to build a 20-panel array, delivering safe drinking water to a school in Vanuatu and with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to deploy 150 SOURCE Hydropanels across Australia.

Hydropanels have been installed in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, in the US’ Sonoran Desert to replenish a drinking hole for local wildlife and at an eco-resort on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.


Zero Mass Water has created an innovative solution using our planet’s most basic resources: the sun and air.

Michael Silverton, Head of Macquarie Capital Americas


Towards universal drinking water

Friesen believes SOURCE could help address some pressing economic and environmental issues around the world.

He points to increasingly urbanized societies turning to bottled water out of concerns about the communal water supply, which has seen worldwide bottled water consumption almost double over the past 10 years to an estimated 391 billion litres in 2017.

“As the world’s middle class grows, more and more people are becoming reliant on bottled water, which is creating a waste problem,” he says.

With Zero Mass Water's SOURCE technology, one $US2,000 Hydropanel can deliver around five litres of water a day direct to a home or office drinking supply – enough to displace more than 50,000 plastic bottles of water over 15 years. This significantly reduces waste in two ways, by eliminating the use of plastic water bottles as well as the carbon use related to their transportation.

SOURCE also provides a cost-effective method for addressing the chronic water shortage affecting the agriculture sector around the world.

“We already use the water supplied from SOURCE at our offices to maintain a 25-metre vertical farm that grows lettuce and microgreens in the middle of the Arizona desert,” Friesen says.

He believes universal access to drinking water is achievable.

“Access to water is a basic human right,” he says. “We want to be in a position to provide clean drinking water for every person, in every place on the planet.”

Zero Mass Water is a participating company of the Macquarie Capital Venture Studio with R/GA (“Studio”). Disruptive technologies are a focus of the Studio: a platform designed to promote innovations in InfraTech. The Studio collaborates with companies that have the potential to accelerate industries including utilities, transportation and environmental services. For more information or to apply, visit www.macquarie.com/mcvs.


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