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Water from thin air in recycled glass

After 10 years of living overseas, Jacques Lubbe and his wife moved back to a drought-stricken Western Cape. In their search for a solution, he has now co-founded a company that will produce 1 million litres of bottled water every year.

What’s especially significant is that these 1 million litres have never been in the water system before, because Infinity Air Water is bottled water harvested directly from the soft and humid Stellenbosch air. It does not include ground or municipal water.

The company, located between Meerlust and Spier Wine Farms, started its first harvest of the soft Stellenbosch moisture in July 2018, and now the company is distributing still and sparkling water to hotels, restaurants, wine farms and corporates in Cape Town.

An encounter in a supermarket in December 2018 made Lubbe realise just how bad the drought really is.

“There was no water on the shelves, and people were going crazy. People were trying to make the water last longer by saving. But I was trying to figure out how we could add to it.”

The concept is not new, as the technology has been around for about 14 years, even though there aren’t many companies harvesting water in this way.

“The availability of clean drinking water is becoming more and more scarce, not only in our country, but worldwide,” Lubbe says. “Yet we only need consciously to turn our gaze to the vast and infinite sky to witness the untapped potential of the humidity all around us. We choose to be part of the solution by using innovative technology to bring clean drinking water, effectively from thin air.”

He says sustainability is key for the company, which uses recyclable glass only. “We have a refill system, instead of people throwing the bottles away,” Lubbe said.

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