Air-to-Water Wizardry: Aquaria’s Solution to Global Water Security

Brian Sheng from Aquaria on EnvironMental Podcast with Dandelion

“Aquaria is both a sustainability company as well as a climate resilience company. We’re building water sustainability, water security.”

Brian Sheng on Aquaria’s purpose

Welcome to another episode of EnvironMental with Dandelion, where we dive deep into the synergy of business and sustainability. Today, we’re excited to share our conversation with Brian Sheng, CEO and co-founder of Aquaria! Aquaria is responsible for some truly groundbreaking work in addressing global water security.

Now, we talk to a lot of entrepreneurs in the sustainability space on this show, so we’re no strangers to inspiring tech, but you’ll have to forgive us for the overt gratitude on this one. The purpose behind Aquaria had us in our feels.

With Court being in chronically water scarce California and Aub being from Flint, Michigan issues around fresh water access hit close to home. We see the real potential behind the technology and we’re grateful to have the platform to share it.

Water Security: A Critical Aspect of Climate Resilience

Let’s start here and talk about water security. It’s a lot more than just, “you have water to drink.” Water security is one of the most complex parts of the sustainability movement. In one definition (of which there are many), UN-Water defines water security as “the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability”​ (UN-Water)​.

“Where water comes in is that it’s one of the most overlooked problems of climate change.”

Brian Sheng on why Aquaria chose water-security as their sustainability solution

In the Western world, we expect that we can turn on our taps and water flows out – but what happens when (not if) those aquifers dry up or become contaminated?

On a global scale, severe water scarcity impacts ⅔ of the world’s population for at least part of the year – and that number is expected to rise as the consequences of climate change become more prevalent.

In our talk, Brian stressed the importance of water security in the broader context of climate change. While energy issues often dominate the conversation, the physical transportation of water, vulnerability to contamination, and natural disasters are critical concerns.

Aquaria’s solution mitigates these risks by enabling local water production.

A Little About Aquaria

Driven by the urgency of water sustainability, Brian embarked on a journey to ensure a secure water future.

With the focus of climate science being so heavily on carbon and energy, he had a frightful vision: a world where sustainable energy is plentiful, but water security is pushed further from our grasp than ever before.

This led to the birth of Aquaria, with the core mission to harness the vast amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere and convert it into clean, potable water.

Brian’s told us about the Aquaria products, which can be both integrated into a building’s water system directly or be a stand alone unit that plugs into the wall. The newest unit (released summer 2024), which can produce up to 25 gallons of water daily. That’s enough to sustain a water-savvy household!

Water for All: The Science Behind Aquaria’s Atmospheric Water Generators

“Earth’s natural hydrologic cycle recycles everything roughly every week or so, so it’s constantly getting replenished. That’s what I mean when I say the water in the air is almost nearly inexhaustible, even when you compare that with how much water humans consume. So what we do is both scalable as well as efficient at harnessing this water, you know, from the sky.”

Brian Sheng on Aquaria’s technology

Explaining the technology, Brian described how their atmospheric water generators efficiently capture water vapor. They invented an energy efficient, conductive material that pulls water from the air. Each unit has a tank and a system that filters, cycles, and mineralizes the water to ensure it is highest quality drinking water!

What’s more, because they’re set up with resilience and water security at the heart of the project, Aquaria’s units are adaptable to any environment. They’re capable of operating on solar energy, battery power, or traditional grid electricity.

And because we’re skeptical of anything that sounds this incredible – we asked the hard question. When DOESN’T it work? Well for the units to work, there does need to be water to pull from the air. This means it needs to be at least 25% humidity (which is MOST places, including most deserts), and it needs to be warmer than freezing. That’s it.

For us, it’s a no-brainer. Aquaria is bringing a real solution to the climate crisis. It’s conversations like this one that make us optimistic for the future. With visionaries like Brian, we continue to uncover and promote groundbreaking solutions that lead us toward a sustainable and resilient future.

If you want to connect or collaborate with Brian and Aquaria, here’s where to find them:


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