A water kiosk named Eva by Uravu labs aims to create a decentralised public infrastructure that makes water available to everyone.
A Kerala-based startup, Uravu Labs, has devised a product that sources drinking water from atmospheric air using condensation cooling, and can ‘produce’ up to 200 litres of water a day under testing conditions. The volume is slated to go up as the equipment is refined, say the founders.
In simple terms, the product cools the air to the point that water vapour undergoes condensation and converts to the liquid state.
The product, named Eva, is yet to be launched but has been tested in Hyderabad, Kozhikode and Bengaluru; it produces about 200 litres of drinking water a day at a cost of Rs 1.5-2 per litre
Eva is fitted with air filters that have a three-stage purification process and can filter out suspended particulate matter even of 0.3 microns in size. Its makers claim that harmful particulate matter like carbon soot will be removed and toxic gases will be absorbed
While the product might look promising, GS Srinivasa Reddy, director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, has his reservations about its efficacy in dry regions. “High moisture content is required for the working of this machine. In drought-prone areas, moisture content and humidity is low,” he said. “This technology is not very efficient in drought-prone areas.”
But Shrivastav says the technology can work even in conditions where concentration of water vapour in the air is as low as 10-12 parts per million, vouching for its efficiency.
The product has believers too. Sudhakaran KS, chairman and managing director of Sanpar Industries, which deals in compressed air purification among other operations, has tested Eva and given it a thumbs up. “It’s a technological revolution. It’s basically condensation of water from the atmosphere, exploiting the humidity in the air. Such particular concepts are appreciated. The quality of water is good and it’s definitely potable. I had this water in CV Raman Nagar [Bengaluru] from the prototype they developed,” he said.
Shrivastav and his team of five that developed the prototype see the future version of their drinking water kiosk generating as much as 5,000 litres a day. They believe the cost of production can be brought down to 50-60 paise a litre by scaling up and using solar power. The team also takes pride in a sensor platform attached to Eva. Their technology monitors air quality and a few other environmental parameters in real-time and displays them on the screen.
Uravu Labs is expecting to launch Eva within the next three-four months. It has neither applied for certification nor decided a price, though. Nevertheless, expressions of interest for this product are already trickling in. Shrivastav said Kozhikode Municipal Corporation and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation have shown pre-order interest.
The idea of a portable water kiosk occurred to Shrivastav when he was required to work on a research project in his final semester in National Institute of Technology, Calicut, in 2013. The theme of the project was ‘Imagining the Future of Water and City’. He said he studied the water distribution model of Cochin and realised that centralised distribution system is the only option people have. This, he said, inspired him to work towards an alternative, independent source of water and his efforts bore fruit in the form of Eva. His Uravu Labs is recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the Centre’s Start-up India programme.
The idea of a portable water kiosk occurred to Uravu Labs CEO and cofounder Swapnil Shrivastav while working on a research project in his final semester in National Institute of Technology, Calicut, in 2013. The theme of the project was ‘Imagining the Future of Water and City’