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News > Our Environment > Water from thin air? Tunisian startup takes up challenge

Water from thin air? Tunisian startup takes up challenge

Kumulus is designing a machine which they say transforms air into water, hoping to help find solutions to drinking water shortages in Tunisia and beyond.
5 Jul 2022
Our Environment
Kumulus Water machine on a rooftop with green plants. City's buildings & a sunrise in the background
Kumulus Water machine on a rooftop with green plants. City's buildings & a sunrise in the background


Drinking water appears to be a luxury as 1.1 billion people lack access to water and 2.7 billion experience water scarcity at least one month a year. Almost one-third of schools worldwide are deprived of clean water, while 500k children under 5 die annually due to bad water quality. Drinking water is one of the biggest threats humanity is facing and it is said that 600 million children will be living in areas of extremely limited water resources by 2040. 

Tunisian tech start-up Kumulus took on the challenge and came up with a new sustainable invention. They have created a machine that pulls water out of sun and air. The project's aim is to provide drinking water economically and sustainably, producing between 20 and 30 liters per day without any external supply of electricity or additional water source.


The Kumulus team (see more here) has designed a machine that converts humidity into drinking water. According to the UN General Assembly, access to drinking water is a human right, and that's what the Tunisian tech start-up seeks to fulfill through this project.

 This machine provides access to a safe and stable source of drinking water, even in dry areas like the North African desert. The company provides the devices to schools and villages that lack drinking water. They also offer it to factories, offices, and hotels in a bid to reduce the usage of plastic bottled water.

According to their website, the Kumulus-1 is an Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) producing 20 to 30 liters of clean drinking water per day. It's a fully autonomous machine, easy to transport, and simple to set up and maintain. The air enters the machine and passes through the first air filter to clean from pollutants. Then, by cooling down the air, the water in it condenses on surfaces inside the machine from where it can be collected into a water tank.

 Its chubby shape — designed by interior and product designer Zouhair Ben Jannet — can fit in a 1m3 cube and be equipped with a solar power panel, making it fully independent. This project aims to alleviate the scarcity of drinking water and reduce plastic waste while adding a playful shape to the space where it's settled.

Story by: christina petridou

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