Droughts are devastating to farmers, killing off scores of crops thanks to a total lack of rain over a long period of time. But this years James Dyson Award winner is the Airdrop, an "air harvester" that promises to make droughts less of an issue in the future.
Here's how the Airdrop works:
With a deceptively modest design, Airdrop filters hot environmental air through a turbine, feeding it through a copper tubing system--with copper wool to maximize surface area--and into the earth where it cools and releases moisture. The dry air is then re-released into the atmosphere and the collected water pumped through semi-porous hoses to the plant roots. In his initial prototype, which was much smaller than the current design, Linnacre was able to produce a liter of water per day.
The entire thing is relatively low-tech, meaning it could be used in developing countries for not a ton of money. That'd be huge for places in which drought is an issue and irrigation isn't as advanced. While it's still a prototype, winning the Dyson award will give the creator the money to make this thing a reality, which is great news for everyone.