Billboard produces 15,000 litres of drinking water out of thin air

The first billboard ever to create drinking water from humidity in the air has produced 15,000 litres of water in six months.

Launched at the end of 2012, the billboard is now a prominent feature of the skyline in Bujama, a small village community just south of Peru's capital city, Lima. The climate is oppressive, with some residents of Bujama having no access to a clean water supply. Since the billboard's arrival, residents of Bujama now have access to an average of 96 litres of drinking water a day.

The unique billboard was co-produced by outdoor advertising owner Clear Channel Peru and researchers at UTEC, University of Engineering and Technology in Lima. Media agency Media Connection BPN and advertising agency, Mayo Draft FCB Perú, have also been full partners in the project.

The billboard cost just US $32,600 to set-up and works by using a panel to trap humidity in the air, transforming it into water. Internally, the panel consists of five devices that extract water vapour from the air using a condenser and filters. The water is stored in tanks at the top of the structure, and then filtered before flowing down a pipe to a tap that is accessible to all who walk past.

On average, 15 to 18 families arrive at the billboard to access the water every day; with people travelling on foot, on bikes and in cars. Maria Arias is one of the dozens of local people to benefit from the billboard, collecting between 2 to 10 litres for her family every day. Maria describes the billboard as a 'privilege' for her community.

Children from the local school (Colegio Franco Peruano Catolico) are another group to benefit on a regular basis. One class has a running session three times per week; with students stopping to refresh and rehydrate at the billboard as part of every lesson.

The billboard's success has already been widely credited by international creative community - winning a series awards since its launch, including:
• Grand Prix at The Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media (New York)
• The Festival of Media Public Service Award (Switzerland)
• 2 Silver medals at the 'One Show Pencils' awards, for Innovation in Advertising and the Public Service Campaign (New York)

Reacting to the news of the latest award win, William Eccleshare, CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, said:
"This is outdoor advertising at its most inspiring: embracing new technology, working in partnership with a host of agencies and delivering a lasting benefit to the people of Bujama. Clear Channel is proud to have been involved in the project and delighted by the international recognition for the campaign."
Aris de Juan, Regional President of Clear Channel Latin America, also commented:
"This campaign showcases the true potential of outdoor advertising. Through exceptional creativity and use of technology, Clear Channel Peru and its partners have achieved an extraordinary social outcome. We are delighted to have been part of such a pioneering campaign in Latin America, where we pride ourselves on innovation and truly meeting any client need".