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Air Wells Extract Water

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posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 07:56 AM
This is a fascinating story. Given the state of water issues in the Western US and elsewhere in the world, it's hard to believe he is having funding problems....

From thin air: Cheapside man hopes to capture vapor for new public water supply

October 3, 2004
Victoria Advocate

CHEAPSIDE - Shea Cockrum: visionary or fruitcake?

At least one observer got the impression that the Cheapside shrimp farmer/ex-Star Wars laser optics technician, who keeps an electron beam gun in the shed next to his clapboard farmhouse, pretty much left a Senate water law committee and a state water planning group thinking the latter: Nut.

Members of both august bodies, which are involved in the effort to ensure that Texas has enough water to grow its future, were more or less speechless after Cockrum explained his ideas about extracting water supplies for the masses from thin air - and asked for research funding.

"There's about 10 gallons in a room this size," Cockrum told the senators gathered last March in a large meeting room in Victoria.

Afterward, the mannerly senators were kind, but there were a few snickers from others sitting in that 10-gallon room.


Last month, the soft-spoken and somewhat rumpled Cockrum probably didn't help his cause any when he opened his laptop computer before Region L water planners meeting in the Alamo City and told them this: "I think I have a PowerPoint presentation in here, but I don't know how to get it out. Is there somebody here who can help me with that?"


Luckily, I suppose you could say, a PowerPoint person was on hand and the planners were treated to Cockrum's theories.

"I think everybody in this room has probably experienced having a cold drink and having water form on the side and drip off and form a puddle right there on the table. That's kinda what I'm talking about," he told them.



Or visionary genius?

During a recent visit to the farmhouse where Cockrum lives on his family's 2,000-acre ranch along the DeWitt/Gonzales county line - and conducts his experiments on extracting water vapor from the atmosphere - he discussed his vision for the simple, low-cost, earth-based "air well" system he is working to develop.

"Assuming that all the problems or potential problems are solved, I believe it could supply 100,000 acre-feet a year to a city like San Antonio," he said. (An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons.)

One advantage is that an air well can be set up near the point of use, he said. "You don't have the expense of pumping it from 100 miles away."

Cockrum said water from air is soft, or demineralized, and has a high level of purity.

Unlike with desalinated water, he said, you wouldn't have troublesome briny deposits to get rid of.

It's drought proof, too, he said. That means the supply would be continuous and reliable.

Amazing. Hope he's on to something...

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 09:14 AM
If you pull the water out of the air you drop the humidity to zero.

With a humidity of zero, water in the ground and from plants would be "sucked" back into the air via evaporation or ozmosis.

It would be temporary at best, the more water pumped from the air into the ground the faster plants are going to dry up and leak other important chemicals.

On top of that, large farms would suck enough moisture from the air to damage weather patterns and create huge tracks of land downwind that would be arid and usless.

Its not a crazy idea is you live in a very humid area and only need a little liquid water, but if you are already in drought conditions it would only makes matters worse.

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 09:40 AM
Actually, a form of this has been successful in other areas. I can't remember for the life of me where I saw this (it was a news report), but in some areas of the world, aid workers are teaching locals to harvest water from a mesh.

In fact, they sell some machines commercially that extract water from air
It's not exactly *free* water (electricity to run the unit could make it pretty expensive) and you would have to live in a fairly humid area.

I've read about using reflective materials to gather what little water there is from the air in deserts.

DARPA also has a project for harvesting water from air to provide water for troops in Iraq:

I don't know what his approach is, but I do know that it's been tried elsewhere and there are some successful models for this.

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 09:42 AM
make a mechine to suck the water out of the hurricains

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 07:24 AM

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 01:37 PM
So basically he is describing an industrial size De-Humidifier, I have one in our basement. Works pretty well, I dump about 2-3 gallons of water every 8 days.

How dehumidifiers work?

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 05:09 PM
I'm already doing this to water the plants and shrubs in front of my building.

We have 12 apartments in the building and each one has an air conditioner in one of their front windows, and this is also the side that gets the most sun during the day. All the air conditioners now drip the condensate directly into the flower beds that runs the length of the front.

I had to adjust where some of the water drips to, and I strategically planted some shrubs and plants to take the best advantage of the water that drips down. Just a few changes in where and what I planted has almost entirely eliminated my need to crank on the hose and water the beds myself.

My next step is to get my hands on two large water barrels so I can hook them up to the downspouts from the roof. The collected rain water will go on the gardens and should totally eliminate me from using city water on my plants.

These are only small steps, but if more people used what is freely available it could make a difference.

posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 05:26 AM
reply to post by Quest

Why don't you prove that the air well would make things dryer in a dry climate by conducting an experiment, your logic may be flawed and you may be missing some important data.

posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 07:34 AM
Pulling the water out of the air will not dry up all the plants in the area.
Think of the air like the ocean. When you remove a glass of water from the ocean does it leave a hole? No the water from all around will fill in the missing area.
Its the same with the air all around us. The ocean will keep the balance if we all started pulling our water out of the air. It would just change the cycle around a bit.

posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 07:45 AM
What someone needs to invent is a solar powered water collecter. Just do all the water collecting during the day.
Im thinking some kind of airconditioner pump with panels on all 6 sides inside a shaded area so the sun would not evaporate all the water. And have water storage underground so it will stay cool.

Think of how much water drips off your car when the airconditionar is running.

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