Warka Water: A Vertical Tower to Solve Water Scarcity by Collecting Water from Air

Water scarcity is one of the world’s issues. People from Ethiopia have to walk 6 hours to collect water from shallow and unprotected ponds which are often contaminated with human and animal wastes.

Arturo Vittori, founder of Architecture and Vision, witnessed the need for potable water when he went to the small village in the North East Region of Ethiopia.

Warka Water being built by locals. (image from warkawater.org)


“Warka Water” comes from Warka Tree, a native Fig Tree in Ethiopia. The vertical tower is inspired from nature, mainly from a beetle’s, lotus flower leaves, spider web threads, cactus’ fog collection system and termite hives which was drawn inspiration from Warka Water’s outer shell.

It collects water from fog, dew and rain and only relies from condensation, evaporation and gravity. Water droplets collect on the mesh, flow downwards by gravity and drip into the Collector. The water is then channeled to the storage tank located at the center of the Warka Water base. It can collect 13 to 26 gallons daily and can store up to 800 gallons. It does not need electricity to work and could be constructed in 10 days by 10 people using basic tools (by hand, no electrical or machinery required) and local biodegradable materials such as bamboo and natural fiber ropes. The materials are also lightweight and the modules are small enough which could be manually carried even by climbing up to steep pathways where transportation could not be reached.


Warka Water’s components (image from warkawater.org)



Warka tower is a temporary structure which is lightweight, biodegradable and does not need heavy equipments to assembly. It does not leave any traces upon removal and does not need any extraction.


The tower is estimated to be $1,000 per tower. Sourcing out local materials could provide jobs and boost economy. It supports agriculture where the water collected could be used for irrigation and farming.


Aside from providing potable water to the community, the Warka tower encourages social interaction where people could gather under the canopy and engage in productive activities such as education, crafts etc. In the future, the tower is aiming to include a share internet connection point for the villages.

Warka Water is still on development stage and has not been installed in Ethiopian community yet. However, prototypes were installed in Italy for experiment and further developments.

If Warka Water will be successful, it will make a huge impact not just the the rural villages in Ethiopia but also to the world. Let us hope that this project will be successful and will push through.

Below is a video of Arturo Vittori showing the Warka Water from concept to development.


The project has won the World Design Impact Prize last March 11, 2016. They are working independently and no assistance from any organization thus in need of financial support. They would be happy if you can contribute bringing the towers to the communities in need. For more information please visit warkawater.org.

(This is not a sponsored post. This is my way of supporting brilliant projects that makes a difference to the world.)

#sustainability #waterscarcity #socialproblems #environment