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Israeli firm pulls water from air in Ukraine after dam collapse

Watergen provided its water-making generators to Ukraine after a dam collapse left approximately 700,000 without clean drinking water.

A Watergen truck in Ukraine. Courtesy.
A Watergen truck in Ukraine. Courtesy.

The Israeli company Watergen has deployed its water-from-air generators to the Ukrainian city of Kherson following last month’s dam collapse in nearby Nova Kakhovka. Each generator can provide 900 liters of drinkable water per day, according to the firm.

The dam disaster took place in a region controlled by Russia in southern Ukraine. It led to extensive flooding, inundating 30 towns and villages along the river and submerging nearly 2,000 homes in Kherson—the region’s Ukrainian-controlled capital.

Watergen has provided five machines so far in cooperation with the local Jewish community led by Ukraine Chief Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman. It plans to dispatch more units.

(l to r) Vitalii Kim, governor of Mykolaiv Oblast, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman and Rabbi Shalom Gottlieb of Mykolaiv. Courtesy.

Azman risked his life while transporting Watergen’s generators, along with other humanitarian aid to Kherson, when he encountered Russian fire in the city.

The generators were donated by American Jewish organizations.

Azman expressed appreciation for the units sent, but appealed to potential supporters to contribute additional generators.

“These special machines, generously donated by kind benefactors, have been operational in the village of Anatevka for a while,” he said.

“Recently, we have been deploying them across multiple cities in Ukraine, including the disaster-stricken Kherson, which faces an acute shortage of drinking water due to the dam’s destruction. This technology is life-saving, and we are committed to distributing it as extensively as possible,” he said.

The Ukrainian Agricultural Ministry reported that the collapse left 94% of irrigation systems in Kherson, 74% in Zaporizhzhya and 30% in the Dnipro regions without a water source.

U.N. Under Secretary-General Martin Griffiths warned of an impending lack of clean drinking water for approximately 700,000 people.

Watergen has previously donated its water-generating machines to crisis regions. In collaboration with the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA), the company supplied an atmospheric water generator to a Syrian medical facility last year, addressing the critical need for clean water there due to the Syrian civil war.

Watergen Generators in Ukraine. Courtesy.

In 2020, Watergen initiated a project in the Gaza Strip to mitigate chronic water shortages, providing generators capable of producing up to 6,000 liters of water daily. One such generator, donated to the Al-Rantisi Medical Center, began supplying clean water to the hospital’s pediatric cancer ward just a day after delivery.

Established in 2009, Watergen pioneered a patented technology for cost-effective, low-energy production of drinking water from air. The process involves pulling in air, chilling it to extract moisture, and then raising the water to a drinkable quality through a series of filters.

The technology, which relies on a plastic heat exchanger and proprietary software to operate the devices, has been deployed in over 60 countries, including those with inadequate water infrastructure like India and Uzbekistan, as well as drought-stricken regions in developed nations like California. 

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