SpongeCloud, a means of balancing water levels between flooded and water-stressed areas, is a proposal that can be deployed worldwide to communities suffering from water-related issues. The SpongeCloud will soak up water, and carry it as a cloud to areas in need, through an efficient, automated process, mimicking that of a natural cloud. This symbiotic relationship between flood-prone and water-stressed areas will help improve living conditions in both places.
Water: a depleting resource
Water supply is one of the biggest problems our planet faces today. This free resource is slowly becoming a political asset. Coupled by the extreme scarcity of clean water and deteriorating distribution systems, the problem we face with water today needs immediate attention. Simultaneously, we see an increase in flooding across the globe, that both further damages the infrastructure, and causes displacement of millions of people annually. Today, there are more deaths caused by water than there are by the continual conflicts across the world. It is only getting worse. 10 million people across the top most severe cases of water stress will soon be exposed to financial and social instability, as they struggle to tackle these problems.
One solution, many destinations
The SpongeCloud is an affordable piece of architectural infrastructure that can be used worldwide. It would cover the minimum distance between flood-prone areas (such as river basins of Mexico, or at the Indus river in Pakistan) and carry the water in vapor form to areas facing droughts, and lack of water, a common phenomenon in areas such as Mexico, Morocco, Yemen and Pakistan. SpongeCloud can solve a wide range of problems, from lack of water for agriculture, to coastal flooding, and much more.
A natural process, artificially made
The SpongeCloud mimics clouds in every stage of its process. A sponge at the base absorbs water, and with a copper plate attached to this and at the connection of each panel absorbs and concentrates solar radiation, causing the evaporation of water. Through evaporation, water is purified and concentrated inside the structure. The water vapor is less dense than air (0.5g/m3) and thus lifts the lightweight structure. A drone, also attached at the base, takes the role of navigating this cloud to areas in need. Minimal energy is used in transporting water using a single structure, enough to provide 200 liters of water to a village of 100 people. The behavior of the cloud is similar to a kite; using as much kinetic energy because of its shape and structure, as possible.
High tech, low price
Having minimal energy needs, this proposal can be used globally, regardless of the economical capacities of the host countries. It uses low cost materials; translucent polymer fabric, a copper plate with foam, and very simple drone technology. The solution is accessible for everyone, bringing new hope and prosperity to all water stressed communities, rethinking the future of water for everyone.