A worldwide water crisis will create water shortages affecting more than half of the world's population within 50 years, according to a 2003 United Nations report. About 90% of the severe problems are in developing nations.

While pollution, irrigation practices, and overdevelopment affect existing water supplies, Munters offers a new solution for capturing moisture from outside air and turning it into pure drinking water.

The company's humidity control H2O LiquidAire system captures water during the dehumidification process and purifies it into drinking water. Both processes rely on a single source of energy.

The process is quite simple. Outside air passes through an efficient air filter, which purifies it by removing dust, pollen, mold spores, and other airborne particles. The moisture is condensed from the outside air and collected in an ultraviolet-protected chamber. The condensate water is stored in a holding tank, which is continuously ozonated to prohibit bacterial growth. As needed, water is drawn from the tank, filtered through a VOC carbon filter and passed through an ultraviolet sanitation light. The water is now purified for drinking, and the cooled dry air is sent indoors to create a comfortable indoor environment.

"Every air conditioning system generates condensate from its cooling coils, which is just dumped down the drain," explained Larry Klekar, national accounts sales manager for Munters. "This system captures this virtually distilled water and turns it into drinking water."

The resulting water has been tested for 28 metals, plus 10 wet chemistries, including coliform bacteria. All of the elements registered at well below industry standards, according to San Antonio Testing Laboratory. Texas requires water to have fewer than 500 ppm of total dissolved solids (tds) for it to be rated potable. The testing lab found that the water from the H2O LiquidAire System had 0 ppm tds, compared to the city of San Antonio's water rating of 220-240 ppm tds.

"In our 16 years of water analysis, Munter's water is without a doubt the purest water we have ever tested," said Richard Hawk, owner and general manager of San Antonio Testing Laboratory.

Depending on the size of the unit, the system can produce as much as 13,134 liters of water per day. Munters has recently shipped a unit to Thailand. Another is headed to Jakarta, Indonesia, where PT.Eternair Water Indonesia will use the system to air condition a manufacturing plant while capturing water, which will be bottled for sale.

"I am very pleased to be the first in the world to open a water bottling plant that will use air as the source for drinking water," said Budhi Haryanto of PT.Enternair Water Indonesia. "Our plant in Jakarta will use the new H2O LiquidAire System to produce water while also air conditioning the plant. We expect our customers to be excited about drinking the purest form of drinking water found on the planet earth."

PT.Enternair expects water sales to pay for the unit within two years.

"Humidity control is necessary in tropical areas, where the quality of drinking water tends to be poor," said Klekar. "We're bringing the two technologies together to solve both problems." AMCA