Making Water from Thin Air: A Sustainable Solution for Hydration

About the author : Sodexo Middle East
Published on : 9/27/23
  • Water is vital to maintaining human health and productivity, particularly in the Middle East, where the climate can be harsh and dehydration risks can be serious.


    Water is vital to maintaining human health and productivity, particularly in the Middle East, where the climate can be harsh and dehydration risks can be serious. Water dispensers are, therefore, a common sight in workplaces and facilities across the region.

    The monetary and environmental costs associated with traditional water dispensing methods, however, can be significant. In this article, we take a look at a groundbreaking solution that Sodexo MEA is trialing at selected sites across the Middle East region. As unlikely as it may sound, this innovative technology generates safe and refreshing drinking water straight from the air around us.

    A Sustainable Water Generation Solution

    The Middle East faces unique water supply challenges due to its arid climate. According to UNICEF, 14 of the 17 most water-stressed nations are in the Middle East and North Africa. Providing a sufficient and sustainable water source is crucial for the well-being of individuals and the efficient operation of facilities.

    Consider the following issues:

    ●  Energy-Intensive Water Transportation: Water is heavy, and transporting it to workplaces across the region requires significant fuel consumption. The logistical challenges associated with water transportation contribute to a high carbon footprint and resource pressures.

    ●  Limited Lifespan of Plastic Bottles: Whilst water cooler plastic bottles may be reusable, they have a limited lifespan before they deteriorate and require replacement. The need to replenish water supplies using these plastic bottles results in increased waste and environmental impact.

    ●  Cost of Hydrating the Workforce: The cost of providing water for an entire workforce through traditional means can be substantial. From purchasing bottled water to managing logistics and distribution, the expenses quickly add up for businesses and facility managers alike.

    At Sodexo,  we understand the importance of following sustainable practices as we deliver our integrated facility management services across the region. Because of the responsibility we have to look after the environment, we are pioneering a trial of advanced technology that extracts moisture from the air to provide a self-sufficient source of clean drinking water.

    This atmospheric water generation solution utilizes cutting-edge technology to extract moisture from the air and convert it into safe drinking water.

    Atmospheric Water: How Does It Work?


    Atmospheric water dispensers operate through a four-step process that harnesses natural moisture from the air and turns it into potable water.

    1. Moisture Extraction: Much like a dehumidifier, Sodexo's innovative technology draws huge volumes of air from the atmosphere and collects it inside a machine. Once inside, the hot and humid air begins to cool down gradually.

    2. Condensation Process: As the water cools, it comes into contact with sterile surfaces, where it condenses into water droplets. The efficiency of the solution we have chosen is based partly on the high atmospheric humidity experienced in the Middle East.

    3. Filtration and Purification: The collected water passes through a series of filters, including a sediment filter that removes particulate matter and a carbon filter that enhances taste and eliminates odors. Finally, UV light sterilization eliminates bacteria or viruses to guarantee pure drinking water.

    4. Storage and Temperature Control: Once purified, the water is stored in a tank within the dispenser. The system offers the flexibility of cooling or heating the water so that users have instant access to clean drinking water at their desired temperature.

    Environmental and Cost Benefits

    Atmospheric water generation is a more sustainable and cost-effective approach to providing drinking water at volume. It offers several compelling environmental and cost benefits for businesses and facilities in the Middle East.

    Let’s consider them one by one:

    ●  Environmental Impact: Atmospheric water generation reduces the carbon footprint associated with ground-water harvesting and transportation by eliminating the need for long-distance delivery. It also mitigates plastic waste by reducing reliance on single or limited-use plastic bottles.

    ●  Cost Efficiency: Atmospheric water generation technology brings notable cost benefits to businesses and facilities. Generating water on-site translates to significant cost savings through lower transportation and maintenance costs.

    ●  Water Security: Atmospheric water generation provides a self-sufficient and reliable source of clean drinking water year-round, ensuring water security for workplaces and facilities.

    ●  Sustainability: Atmospheric water generation contributes to sustainable water management by reducing reliance on traditional water sources like wells, and expensive technologies like salt-water desalination. It helps preserve freshwater resources and minimizes the strain on existing water infrastructure.

    A Positive Move Towards Efficiency and Sustainability


    Sodexo’s trial of atmospheric water generation represents a significant step forward in achieving sustainability and resource efficiency in facilities management. This cutting-edge technology enables companies to provide clean drinking water to their staff whilst minimizing environmental impact and reducing costs.

    Feedback received from the trial so far is encouraging, and the expectation is that facilities across the region will embrace atmospheric water generation widely. Part of its appeal is that it allows organizations to optimize their operations and contribute to a more sustainable future.

    So far, many have expressed deep surprise at the existence and effectiveness of this technology. Of particular interest is the fact that it allows facilities in the Middle East to actively contribute toward reducing consumption and optimizing resource usage.

    Explore Sustainable Solutions and Enhance Efficiency with Sodexo MEA

    Learn more about Sodexo's comprehensive range of integrated facilities management services here.

    You can also explore how we are leading the way in sustainable practices and discover how we can help your business enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and contribute to a greener Middle East.

    Contact us > Open sharing and other actions