Water-catching device wins Arup competition

An international competition for designs to help people without access to clean water has been won by a device that harvests water from the air.


WatAir, by Joseph Cory of Geotectura and Eyal Malka of Malka Architects from Haifa, Israel, won the Drawing Water Challenge, organised by Arup for charity WaterAid.


The device features 96sq m of dew collecting panels arranged in an inverted pyramid shape. The designers estimate each device could collect 48 litres of water a day in remote places or places with contaminated water supplies.

WaterAid estimates that 5,000 children die each day from drinking dirty water.watair-2-c-joseph-cory-eyal-malka.jpg
WaterAid estimates that 5,000 children die each day from drinking dirty water.

Below is a statement about the Drawing Water Challenge:


Arup’s drawing water challenge has been won by Joseph Cory and Eyal Malka with their idea - WatAir.

WatAir is an inverted pyramid array of panels, that collects dew from the air and turns it into fresh water, in almost any climate.

The drawing water challenge was an international competition launched by Arup in September 2006. Inspirational ideas and concepts were sought to help bring clean, safe water and sanitation to millions of people around the world.

An outstanding response of 100 entries were received, from 20 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The submissions were judged by Sir Christopher Frayling, Ken Shuttleworth, WaterAid’s Valerie Kuntz and Frank Lawson, and Arup’s Jo da Silva and David Glover.

1st WatAir - Joseph Cory and Eyal Malka, Israel

“A wonderfully simple concept which draws its inspiration from nature."
Jo da Silva on WatAir

2nd Paddle for Water - Maxime Hourani, Lebanon

“A simple and effective idea using tried and tested technology."
David Glover on Paddle for Water

3rd Use your Water - Christoph Wust and Eva Nemcova, Germany

“The future of sewerage in urban planning. All sewerage will be handled this way."
Ken Shuttleworth on Use your Water

Highly commended submissions:
Life Band - Sam Wingfield and Ben Hodgkin, Faber Maunsell, UK

Portable Water Test Kit - Sadia Moeed and Tom Burgoyne, Environment Agency, UK

Rain Water Catch - Scott Wehner and Tim Hickey, Friends of Water, USA
Winning and shortlisted entries will be exhibited at The Building Centre, London until 7 March. Mon - Fri 9.30 - 6.00, Sat 10.00 - 4.00, Admission free.