New Startup Creates Water from the Desert Air

This Jordanian company is producing water, a precious resource in the region.

Jordanian desert.

(Nicolas Vignot /

There are very few places in the desert where water is plentiful. But now a The Jordanian startup has created an incredibly efficient Atmospheric Water Generating Device (AWG) that can generate water in even the most arid of environments. For a dry and thirsty region, this device can be a gamechanger.

Water for a desert country
According to Fast Company, Jordan is one of the most water insecure countries in the world, and with the population growing, the need for water is becoming more critical. In many areas, water is only available for 36 hours a week.

“Our situation — with the lack of natural resources and water—puts us in a position where we have to do something,” Tamer Al-Salah, managing director of BeyondCapital, a venture capital firm based in Jordan that has worked with several environmental companies, told Fast Company. “Climate entrepreneurship is important and it’s growing.” 

That’s where AquaPoro comes in. CEO Kyle Cordova and engineering director Husam Almassad, Aquaporo started working in Cordova’s research lab at Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society three years ago to develop an AWG device that could mimic nature by pulling water out of the desert air. In fact, the device can pull out more than double the amount of other water harvesting devices in desert areas.

The device uses molecular sponges that can capture and condense water from the desert air. The water is then filtered and mineralized so that it is fit for human consumption, according to Jordan News. If that were not enough, the device is also solar powered, so that it can be used anywhere.

The AWG device was first introduced in a study published in Nature Communications last year and showed that the device can create up to 35 liters of water in 20 percent  humidity a day.

A greenhouse for future scientists
Fast Company reports that the AquaPoro’s machine which is about the size of an air conditioning unit has impressed the Jordanian government so much that they have ordered 1000 units that they hope to hand out for free to families throughout the country in 2024.

AquaPoro is also an incubator for future scientists. Almassad, now the director of engineering, began at AquaPoro in 2019 as an intern. Likewise, the startup is currently hosting 25 students, undergraduates, and graduates, in their lab so that they too can learn and innovate. 

“Young people in Jordan have great ideas,” Cordova said. “My job is to show that research can make it out of the lab.”

In reality, the idea of collecting water from the air is not new. People have been harvesting dew using both man-made and natural materials for thousands of years. What makes AquaPoro and its researchers so special is their ability to look to the past for solutions and use today’s technology to make those solutions even better.

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