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$44,996 pledged of $100,000 goal
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$44,996 pledged of $100,000 goal
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About

Dear Friends / Supporters

We have concluded the Kickstarter campaign reaching almost 50% of our goal. We are happy of the result even if we can't benefit from the donations yet. Now we are aware that we are not alone but there is a community sharing the Warka Water's vision and supporting us. Your kind and supportive words are giving us strength and motivation to go head.

Concluded this experience we are now even more determined to continue working on Warka Water and RELAUNCHING THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN, which you can find by clicking here: Relaunch

Please confirm your support by donating to the new Warka Water Kickstarter page, we have reduced our financial goal and the scope of this campaign, We are looking for resources to build the first Pilot Prototype, that we have already started in Addis Ababa, and install it in a rural community. We will be developing the Warkino monitoring equipment later on or eventually now if we get more funding.

Thanks for supporting us and helping us spread the word ! Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and stay tuned for more updates.

Water is the source of life. It is so fundamental to our lives that we take it for granted. But in some areas of the world, water shortage is an acute and a real problem. Many rural villages in Africa lack the simple water infrastructure to fulfill basic needs.

Women gathering water - Ethiopia - 2012
Women gathering water - Ethiopia - 2012
Detail - Warka Water 1.7 - 2014 - Fog water being collected
Detail - Warka Water 1.7 - 2014 - Fog water being collected

Visiting small isolated communities up on high plateau in the North East region of Ethiopia, we witnessed this dramatic reality: the lack of potable water. The villagers live in a beautiful natural environment but often without running water, electricity, a toilet or a shower. To survive here, women and children walk everyday for miles towards shallow and unprotected ponds, where the water is often contaminated with human and animal waste, parasites, and diseases. They collect the water using dry carved pumpkins and carry the water back in old plastic containers, which are extremely heavy.

Recent studies show that only 34% of Ethiopia’s population has access to an improved water supply. This implies that approximately 60 million people lack safe water. 


To help improve this dramatic situation, we made it our mission to find a solution and help these people with Warka Water (WW): An environmentally, socially and financially sustainable solution to potable water.

Ethiopian Highlands visited in 2012
Ethiopian Highlands visited in 2012

Warka Water is an alternative water source to rural population that faces challenges in accessing drinkable water. It is first and foremost an architecture project. WW should not be considered as the solution to all water problems in developing countries but rather as a tool that can provide clean water in selected areas, particularly in mountainous regions where conventional pipelines will never reach and where water is not available from wells. These remote communities, often with limited financial means, struggle to find reliable supplies of clean water for the people, the animals and for agriculture.

WW is designed to be owned and operated by the villagers, a key factor that should help guarantee the success of the project. WW not only provides a fundamental resource for life – water – but also creates a social place for the community, where people can gather under the shade of its canopy for education and public meetings.

Warka Water 3.1 - Rural community context - Artistic Illustration
Warka Water 3.1 - Rural community context - Artistic Illustration
Warka Water 3.1 - Front View - Artistic Illustration
Warka Water 3.1 - Front View - Artistic Illustration
Warka Water 3.1 - Top View - Artistic Illustration
Warka Water 3.1 - Top View - Artistic Illustration
Warka tree (Ficus vasta) - Ethiopia - 2012
Warka tree (Ficus vasta) - Ethiopia - 2012

The name of the project 'Warka' comes from the Warka Tree, which is a giant wild fig tree native to Ethiopia. It constitutes a very important part of the local culture and ecosystem by providing its fruit and a gathering place for the community.

In rural areas of Ethiopia, infrastructure is scarce, and building a well is neither easy nor affordable. To find water source, you need to drill deep in the ground up to 1,600 ft (500 m). Bringing water to the top requires pumps and electrical equipment, which are both expensive and difficult to maintain.

Ethiopia - Rural areas visited in 2012
Ethiopia - Rural areas visited in 2012

Our focus is on providing sustainable and affordable water sources through the WW. Built with local bamboo, it is easy to be maintained by villagers themselves, and it can run at very low cost.

Ethiopia - Highlands - Artist Impression
Ethiopia - Highlands - Artist Impression

Air always contains a certain amount of water, irrespective of local ambient temperatures and humidity conditions. This makes it possible to produce water from air almost anywhere in the world. Locations with high rates of aerosol and humidity are best to install WW.

WW is a vertical structure designed to harvest potable water from the atmosphere (it collects rain, harvests fog and dew), it is estimated to collect up to 26.4 gal (100 L) of drinking water every day.

Below are the key details of Warka Water 3.1.

  • Daily water collection: 13 to 26 gallons (50 to 100 L), annual average
  • Water tank storage: 264 gallons (1000 L)
  • Construction: 4 days, 6 people (by hand, no electrical power machinery required)
  • Assembly: 3 hours, 4 people

  • Weight: 132 pounds (60 kg)
  • Materials: Bamboo, hemp, metal pins, bio-plastic
  • Dimensions: Height 33 ft (10 m) – Footprint Ø 13 ft (4,2 m)
  • Surface Area: Mesh 262 sq ft (80 sq. m), Collector 141 sq ft (43 sq. m), Canopy 285 sq ft (87 sq. m)
  • Cost: ~ $1,000 (production in Ethiopia)
  • Maintenance: easy to be maintained, cleaned and repaired.
Functional diagram - WW 3.1
Functional diagram - WW 3.1

WW version 3.1 is 33 ft (10 m) in height and 132 pounds (60 kg) in weight, consisting of 5 modules that are very easy to assemble, from top to bottom. 

The outer frame structure, made with split bamboo elements, is structurally optimized for lightness and strength. The elegant design of the triangulated frame geometry offers both stability and robustness. The joints are made with metal pins and hemp ropes.


A network of ropes provides additional stability. The tension in the diagonal guy-wire, combined with the compressional strength of the bamboo structure, allows the tower to withstand strong winds. 8 fixation points are placed radially at 26 ft (8 m) distance from the WW base and are tightened with 8 polyester ropes, which are very low-stretch and ultraviolet resistant.

Inside the bamboo structure hangs the plastic Mesh that collects droplets of water from the high humidity in the air and the Collector where the dew condensation can happen at night.

A textile canopy around the WW bamboo structure creates a shaded area.

Warka is designed to be easily built and maintained by local villagers without scaffolding and electrical tools.
The materials used are: bamboo, hemp and bio-plastic.

A meteorological station designed specifically for the development of the WW, Warkino enables us to study the water harvesting abilities of different types of materials under various climatic conditions. Warkino helps us to monitor the local environment (humidity, air pressure, temperature, winds, water collection, water quality, material surface temperatures). The Warkino is fundamental to launching a successful pilot and improving the water harvesting materials.

Warkino - weather monitoring and material surfaces temperature survey
Warkino - weather monitoring and material surfaces temperature survey
Warkino - realtime data transmitted online on Xively
Warkino - realtime data transmitted online on Xively
Experiments and Tests - Mesh Detail - Captured fog droplets
Experiments and Tests - Mesh Detail - Captured fog droplets
Time-lapse footage of water condensation combined with data gatherd by Warkino
Time-lapse footage of water condensation combined with data gatherd by Warkino


Main project versions
Main project versions
Work in Progress - WW 1.0 - Precious preparing the Mesh
Work in Progress - WW 1.0 - Precious preparing the Mesh
Detail - Mesh - Warka Water 1.6 - Bomarzo 2014
Detail - Mesh - Warka Water 1.6 - Bomarzo 2014
Detail - Warka Water 1.2 - Giunco structural Connections
Detail - Warka Water 1.2 - Giunco structural Connections
Work in progress - Warka Water 1.2 - Precious fixing the nodes
Work in progress - Warka Water 1.2 - Precious fixing the nodes
Work in progress - WW 1.6 - Raffi installing the Collector
Work in progress - WW 1.6 - Raffi installing the Collector
Detail - Warka Water 2.0 - Beirut 2012
Detail - Warka Water 2.0 - Beirut 2012

 We have built 9 full-scale prototypes of WW to date, testing and improving the concept. Currently, the 10th prototype is being developed (WW version 3.1).

We have faced several challenges so far. The first was creating a tall, lightweight and stable structure out of natural material, using a low-tech and sustainable approach. This process required a number of computer models and simulations, visualized with physical representations. Another challenge was making it easy and economic to construct the tower without using power-tools and scaffolding.

The Warka Water project began in 2012 by the Italian design practice ‘Architecture and Vision’, directed by Arturo Vittori, with the support of external collaborators.

Since then, we have come a long way and we are ready to begin constructing our first pilot and test it in the field.

We have drafted a business plan for the next 5 years, where each year is divided into 2 semesters and marked by the letter (S). The semesters with the (✓) symbol delineate what has been achieved thus far, and the semester with the green mark indicates the current phase, which will be achieved with the help of this campaign. We have also planned subsequent phases of work, among which are the launch of 3 field tests and 3 larger pilots, and monitoring test results, before large-scale production.

In 2019, once the project is completed, we plan to start the large-scale production of WW. Moreover, specific training courses will be organized for the inhabitants of the village to construct, use and maintain the WW. We hope to invigorate the local economy through manufacturing activities and give children opportunities to invest their time in more productive activities and education. We believe that WW can be a stepping-stone that empowers communities to build greater independence.

The Project Timeline organized in semesters (6 months) and indicated by the letter S.
The Project Timeline organized in semesters (6 months) and indicated by the letter S.

We are raising funds to support our first field test in Ethiopia (March 2015) and the development of Monitoring Equipment ‘Warkino’. Without completing this phase of work, the project will fall short of launching pilots and scaling to other regions. The diagram below illustrates the distribution of budget required for this phase of WW development. For example, to construct the first pilot test prototype in Ethiopia, we need to acquire materials, to employ people to help us make the structure, cover the travel expenses, etc.

 Customs and duties are not included in the pledge amount.

 
Help us empower the water poor communities.
Help us empower the water poor communities.

Help us to make WW happen and empower the water poor communities with the ability to produce clean water. Your contribution – from supporting this project, spreading the word, to reaching out with new collaboration ideas – can make a difference in remote villages in Ethiopia. We are grateful for all your support and encouragement.

Behind WW is a small international team with a large vision.

WW has received widespread interest from many international organizations and has been featured on several magazines and blogs.

TO KNOW MORE .....

If you want to know more about the project, kindly visit www.warkawater.com or www.facebook.com/warkawater

For further information, or to receive the detailed list of the publications, the press kit or an interview with a spokesperson, please write a request to press@architectureandvision.com 

Risks and challenges

Since we embarked on this journey 3 years ago, we have acquired a wide range of experience by constructing and testing several WW prototypes and experimenting with various materials and construction techniques. We have defined an efficient design that minimizes the need for tools and materials while maximizing water collection, robustness and maintaining elegance.

During the project development, we have been facing several challenges. For example, one of the most difficult obstacles so far has been to make a tall and a lightweight structure that is easy to mount and is capable of withstanding various weather conditions. The wind transports water particles in the air through the mesh, giving WW the chance to harvest them. But when the wind is too strong, it can challenge the stability of the structure. For this, we have already conducted several tests and improved the design of the tower. The latest WW version is tested to stand against winds that reach the speed of 40 mph (65 km/h).

We have worked extremely hard to get to where we are today, developing and refining the initial concept, and so far have been able to meet the project timeline. A lot of work has already been done, but we are aware that there will be more hurdles to overcome. The next phase of work (the S6), the construction of the first pilot prototype in Ethiopia, is extremely important, and we’ll need to focus all of our energies to address specific challenges that come with constructing WW in a new context – a rural area in the Ethiopian highlands. To adapt the WW design to any changes in the local situation, we must be ready to find all the right materials and tools on site. For example, if local wind conditions pose a danger to WW's stability, we will develop a strategy to avoid any damages. Mesh can be designed to be easily lowered or raised depending on the wind conditions.

Another challenge will be to teach and train the local community on how to build and maintain WW. We already have local representatives that can support and bridge the communication and cultural gap.

We are confident that we can make WW happen. Please join and support our Campaign.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    You'll have our gratitude and make a difference! You'll also get a special thanks on our website (with your permission), plus exclusive updates from the Warka Water team!

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    You will receive a 17 oz. Warka Water stemless glass for everyday drinking. A glass to remind you of the importance of safe water in our lives.

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    You will receive a 20 oz. reusable, environmentally friendly Warka Water bottle for hydration on the go.

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    Spread the word by wearing a custom t-shirt with Warka Water blueprint!

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    You will receive a canvas tote bag and a t-shirt with Warka Water cool blueprint.

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    An opportunity to ask Arturo Vittori anything about Warka Water! A private interview over Skype.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    You will receive a pack of 6 17 oz. Warka Water stemless glasses for everyday drinking, to remind you of the importance of safe water in our lives.

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    You will receive a hand drawn and autographed reproduction of the first Warka Water conceptual sketch done by Arturo Vittori.

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    We will put your name and a short message of your choice on one node of our first pilot tower in Ethiopia!

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Arturo Vittori – the artist behind the Warka – will individually sign your copy of high-resolution print of Warka Water installation (50 x 70cm).

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    You will receive a Stainless steel ring designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    You will receive a cool pair of stainless steel earrings designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    You will receive a cool stainless steel necklace designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    You will receive a cool silver ring designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    You will receive a pair of silver earrings designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    You will receive a cool silver necklace designed by Arturo Vittori and inspired by Warka Water. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You will receive a set of stainless steel ring, earrings, and a necklace, all inspired by the structural elements of the Warka. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    You will receive a set of silver ring, earrings, and a necklace, all inspired by the structural elements of the Warka. The Jewelry will be manufactured in Italy by us and packed in a special case made out of bamboo left over from the WW fabrication (nothing is wasted!!!).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will receive a Textile Art inspired by traditional Ethiopian patterns. Designed by Precious Desperts, a fashion and textile designer and a member of the Warka team.

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    You will receive a white strong and flexible plastic scaled model (1/50) of the Warka Water.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You will receive a white strong and flexible plastic scaled model (1/20) of the Warka Water.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Private invitation for you and your guest to the Architecture and Vision studio in Bomarzo, Italy, where Warka Water is developed. Meet the architect and discuss his passion for the Warka over a private dinner. The 6-day itinerary includes:
    Day 1: Arrive in Rome and transit to Bomarzo
    Day 2-3: Spend time with Arturo and the Warka team at Architecture and Vision studio in Bomarzo.
    Day 4: Tour the city of Bomarzo and head back to Rome in the evening
    Day 5: 1/2 day tour of Rome and remainder of day at leisure
    Day 6 : Flight back home
    *The Italy trip is planned for spring-summer 2015. Itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. Includes accommodation, local guide and transport for 2 people. Flights not included

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    An opportunity to visit the Warka pilot site in Ethiopia. See the Warka in action and spend time with the villagers. 8-day itinerary includes:
    Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa and transfer to your hotel.
    Day 2: An optional full-day tour of Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Ethiopia. Traditional Welcome Dinner.
    Day 3: Drive to Warka Water pilot site and accommodation.
    Day 4-5: Visit the Warka Water pilot site. Local activities.
    Day 6: Fly to Lalibela to see the incredible rock-hewn churches.
    Day 7: Continue touring Lalibela’s famous churches, including Yimrehanne Kristos.
    Day 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa to connect to your international departure.
    * The earliest Ethiopia trip is planned for summer 2015. Itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. Includes accommodation, local guide and transport for 1 individual. Flights not included

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Invitation for you and your guest to join the Warka team and help build the Warka pilot with your own hands! 8-day itinerary includes: Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa and transfer to your hotel.
    Day 2: An optional full-day tour of Addis Ababa, the diplomatic capital of Ethiopia. Traditional Welcome Dinner.
    Day 3: Drive to Warka Water pilot site and accommodation.
    Day 4-7: Join the Warka team to help install the pilot Warka Tower. Spend time with local villagers
    Day 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa to connect to your international departure.
    * The earliest Ethiopia trip is planned in summer 2015. Itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. Includes accommodation, local guide and transport for 1 individual. Flights not included

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Funding period

- (40 days)