They're not buying it, having it delivered, digging for it or doing rain dances. They are MAKING it.

The Colonias are unincorporated areas around El Paso, mostly to the east, that have few, if any, of the services El Paso city dwellers enjoy. Including a steady water supply.

When it comes to life in the desert, water is scarce. Colonia residents can't just turn on a tap or go down to the creek.

People living in the Colonias near Hueco Tanks are not connected to municipal water supplies so they have to buy water and have it delivered which can get expensive.

Not to mention inconvenient or even life threatening if you run out and a new delivery can't be arranged right away.

A new device may help to alleviate this situation though and it's currently being experimented with in a few Colonias homes.

What's a Hydropanel?

It's called a Hydropanel, here's how it works:

  • Solar panels power fans that pull vapor from the air.
  • Warm air raises the dew point, condensing the water vapor.
  • Water vapor flows into a reservoir.
  • The water is cleaned, circulated and mineralized.
  • The water is then pumped from the tank to the homes.

The reservoir holds over 6 gallons of water and can generate 12 bottles of water a day. You can learn more and see an illustration of the process here.

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