Drinking Water from Air: Local Company Finds Niche Selling Atmospheric Water Generators
Steve Engel was growing desperate. Earlier this summer, the Pacific Palisades homeowner feared that the recently enacted limit on outdoor watering to just two brief periods a week would effectively kill most of his flowering plants and fruit trees.
“I cannot run my hoses for much of the day, or else I face a financial penalty,” Engel said. “I also want to do the right thing and conserve water.”
Then Engel, a television writer and producer, heard from a friend about a company with a device that pulled water out of the air – water that could be used for outdoor irrigation, bypassing municipal tap water. It sounded almost too good to be true.
A Skywell water generator on the campus of Bunche Middle School In Compton.
Engel contacted the company, which turned out to be Santa Monica-based Skywell. He ultimately ordered a pair of the company’s atmospheric water generators – and a 100-gallon storage water tank to go along with them. Total up-front cost: about $5,000.
And not a moment too soon. Less than two weeks after Skywell’s water system was installed at Engel’s home, Southern California entered a 10-day heat wave. Unlike many of his neighbors, Engel was able to draw water from his Skywell system and the storage tank to save his plants and trees.
“It was a godsend,” he said. For Skywell, this summer’s sizzling temperatures has sparked increased interest in its machines that extract water out of the air.
“We’re getting calls now from concerned homeowners who can only water once or twice a week: neither limit keeps their lawns and plants from dying,” said Ron Dorfman, Skywell’s founder and chief executive. “We can offer them their own private water reserve.”
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