WarkaWater has been inaugurated at the opening of the ‘FuturoTextiles’ exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l’industries in Parc de la Villette, Paris. Arturo Vittori and Andreas Vogler presented WarkaWater to minister Fleur Pellerin, former astronaut and minister Claudie Haigneré and Martine Aubry, mayor of Lille.
In the northern mountainous regions of Ethiopia access to water can cost several hours of walking, container filling and heavy canister carrying, mostly done by women or children. To ease this dramatic condition, the studio ‘Architecture and Vision’ is developing the project WarkaWater, which is harvesting potable water from the air.
WarkaWater is a nine-meter high tower constructed with a bamboo or reed framework. The hanging fabric inside allows fog-harvesting. The lightweight structure is designed with parametric computing, but can be built with local skills and materials by the village inhabitants.
The tower is assembled in sections and installed from top down, so no scaffolding is needed. The lightweight structure can be assembled, lifted and fixed to the ground by 4-6 men. The stable triangular framework of the tower is achieved by connecting the bamboo either with natural fibre or metal wires. The fog-harvesting fabric can be lowered for maintenance.
The name WarkaWater comes from the warka tree, which is native to Ethiopia and is a kind of a giant wild fig tree. In Ethiopian culture the shade of the warka tree is used for traditional public gatherings, school education and the like. These trees are a very important part of the ecosystem and culture of Ethiopia and its disappearance seems unfortunately unavoidable.