Water is essential for life on this planet, but it can be hard to come by — at least, in the form of clean drinking water. As climate change advances, we’re going to have to get creative to broaden and maintain access to clean water. New technologies that allow us to either desalinate sea water or draw water out of the air will likely be a big part of future strategies for water security. An innovative device called the Kara Pure does the latter, producing up to 10 liters (2.5 gallons) of pure drinking water out of thin air every day.

Kara Pure air-to-water filtration system.

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Designed to be used in the home, Kara Pure is an air-to-water filtration system that also happens to dehumidify and filter the air while it’s producing clean water. If you’ve ever owned a dehumidifier, you’re probably familiar with the way these machines produce large quantities of water that has to be drained away. The water usually isn’t drinkable or reusable due to the way the machines process it, which seems like a waste. It was just a matter of time before somebody came up with a way to change that. Kara Pure operates much like a conventional home dehumidifier, but it puts the water through a filtration process that not only cleans the water, but makes it healthier to drink, too.

How the Kara Pure Works

The Kara Pure water machine draws air through a four-level filtration system to remove impurities, heavy metals, and particles while extracting water. The purified air is released back into the room, and the contaminants are trapped by the filters. Smart sensors turn off when the humidity in the room drops below a comfortable 25 percent. The water then goes through a multistage filtration and purification process, including a UV-C sterilizer in the water reservoir to keep the water fresh and clean. The water is automatically sterilized every four hours.

Graphic explains how the Kara Pure makes fresh alkaline water from the air.

A built-in ionizer separates water into its acidic and alkaline parts, which improves the taste. The machine also adds seven essential natural minerals to the water: calcium magnesium, lithium, zinc, selenium, strontium, and metasilicic acid. This mimics the natural components of spring water. Alkaline water is believed to have health benefits like neutralizing acid in the bloodstream and slowing bone loss, though scientists are still divided on these claims.

Kara Pure air-to-water filtration system.

“Only by bringing together a team of professional engineers and advisors from different industries was it possible to develop a technology that can produce up to 2.5 gallons of safe drinking water from the air,” the startup explains. “We want to decrease dependence on groundwater by fully tapping into air-water with Kara Pure to provide everyone access to premium quality local alkaline drinking water.”

Always Have Clean Water on Hand

If you already have access to good quality drinking water from a tap, a machine like the Kara Pure might not be necessary, though it’s a great alternative to having bottled water delivered for a drink cooler. Since it only produces 2.5 gallons a day, it’s not ideal for community spaces like offices, but it can augment fresh water supply in the average home. If more people relied on machines like these instead of bottled water, we could eliminate a lot of plastic waste.

Graphic highlights some of the Kara Pure's biggest perks.

The stainless steel machine is about the size of a standard water cooler. During a recent round of crowdfunding on Indiegogo, the Kara Pure raised over $1 million USD, unlocking some handy new features like hot and cold water taps. Backers scored their own units for as little as $599, but it looks like the retail price will ultimately be quite high at $3,499. That’s probably the biggest drawback of the machine: it would be most useful for people who can’t afford those prices.

For those who can afford to spring for the machine, the Kara Pure offers an environmentally friendly way to dehumidify and purify the air while producing clean drinking water, essentially replacing three separate household appliances. That’s definitely not a bad deal, and though it requires power and thus wouldn’t work in a power outage, it would also offer the security of access to clean water in the event of a water outage.

Person pours fresh drinking water from a Kara Pure water purifier.

Like similar machines in production all over the world, the Kara Pure offers additional proof that this kind of technology works. It would be great to see more companies using it to produce larger machines for communities dealing with issues like contaminated water or too little water to go around.