California fire crews drink water pulled from thin air

An Israeli company is helping America’s disaster victims and first responders Watergen sends Israeli water-making machine to assist massive wildfires.



By Abigail Klein Leichman          

An emergency response vehicle (ERV) carrying an innovative Israeli machine that pulls pure drinking water directly out of ambient air is on its way to California, to provide hydration to police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of two massive wildfires that have taken at least 87 lives and destroyed over 10,000 homes and businesses.

The vehicle and the GEN-350 atmospheric water generator were sent by Watergen USA, the American subsidiary of the Israeli company that invented the system.

“The chairman of our company in Israel believes very strongly in humanitarian efforts to assist those who have lost everything in California,” said Yehuda Kaploun, president of Watergen USA. Company CEO Ed Russo pointed out that aid workers can serve for longer periods of time if they have adequate drinking water. He also noted that the GEN-350 reduces the number of plastic bottles needed in disaster areas, and the number of vehicles required to haul bottled drinking water to parched survivors and rescue workers.

The 1,760-pound (800-kilogram) Watergen GEN-350 can produce up to 155 gallons (600 liters) of water per day from the air. The unit has an internal water-treatment system and needs no infrastructure to operate except electricity, which is supplied from a generator and charging stations on the ERV.

Watergen USA has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to bring an additional ERV and a GEN-350 to California. Contributions will help bring water and hope to numerous disaster victims.

The water-from-air miracle underscores the global leadership role that innovative Israeli companies have played in recent decades – from drip irrigation systems that conserve water and turn deserts into fruit and vegetable gardens … to systems that recycle household “gray” water into irrigation water for crops … to desalination systems that convert Mediterranean Sea water into 90% of all the water Israelis now drink, while also providing drinking water to Palestinian and Jordanian areas.

Watergen USA’s ERV previously brought a GEN-350 unit to Florida following Hurricane Michael in October. The company partnered there with World Central Kitchen, an organization of chefs working to fight hunger and poverty, to prepare food for hurricane victims.

“Watergen USA was pleased to partner with world-class chefs to assist in the rescue efforts to provide people with gourmet meals using the world’s best chefs and using the world’s best water,” said Kaploun.

California first responders and residents hope this new partnership with Watergen will make things a little better in fire and flood-devastated areas.

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