Waterspots an MIT SOLVE Competition Finalist

Waterspots an MIT SOLVE Finalist

Great news — we’re thrilled to announce that our Foundation sponsored project, Waterspots, is a finalist in this year’s MIT SOLVE competition!

Developed by Resilient Design Associate Johanna Hoffman, Waterspots are decentralized water catchment & treatment hubs that harvest rain, fog & dew. As climate change progresses, capturing fog & dew for drinking purposes will become an increasingly important tool for water security. At the same time, climate change will cause rainfall in many semi-arid climates across the globe to decrease. Rain events that do occur are slated to become stronger & shorter. Maximizing our capacity to capture that water when it falls is vital to enhancing water resilience as climates shift.

Waterspots are designed to accomplish these goals. Layers of plastic filament mesh span a frame of powder-coated, hollow stainless steel pipes. Acting much like the needles of redwood trees, the mesh captures passing fog and transfers it to storage & treatment containers below.

Support pipes have two additional functions. Hollow, they catch & store rainwater. They are also cooled with solar power, enabling them to serve as dew catchers during nighttime & dawn hours. Once treated, water is pumped to waist-height water spouts, where users can source fresh water onsite.

Because fog flows differently in different places, Waterspots come in four versions. Square models are designed for areas with consistent wind direction, such as coastlines & ridge tops. Round models are designed for areas with less consistent wind direction, such as denser urban streets & centralized neighborhood parks. Each model comes with educational touch screens to spread information about water use & alternative catchment systems.

Waterspots also serve as public gathering spaces. Seating allows people to linger, learn about water resilience issues, chat with each other and enjoy a rest from the day. Waterspots bring water catchment & treatment to the public realm, creating accessible spaces to celebrate the value of water. By harnessing rain, fog & dew, these decentralized catchment, treatment & education systems are watering holes for the 21st century.

Johanna will be pitching the project to MIT’s Solve community in the middle of September for seed funding and developmental support. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on developments. In the meantime, check out the project and share your support here: https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/sustainable-urban-communities/solutions/250