Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Uravu, a Hyderabad based Indian startup is all set to transform ways of producing water. The source is nothing but air. It’s high time for these alchemists as they are the finalists of the prestigious Water Abundance XPRIZE, worth $1.75 million.

The Grand ‘Water Abundance XPRIZE’

The water crisis is going to hit the world soon. The replenishing underground water resources, climate change, water wastage are some of the factors responsible for global water scarcity. Half of the world’s population resides in places where water tables are falling at an alarming rate.

The air might be the solution. Are you aware of the fact that over 3 quadrillion gallons of untapped water exist in the atmosphere? Probably not! But it’s a fact that it’s enough to provide enough water for every person on the planet for a whole year.

Hence, started the Water Abundance XPRIZE, a high profile international competition, worth $1.75 million. That’s a humongous amount of money and worth every penny. The competition is seeking technologies that are capable of efficiently harvesting water from thin air. 

The requirements are quite extraordinary. The device is expected to extract a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100% renewable energy, at a cost of at most 2 cents per liter.

Believe it or not, expert minds around the world are turning unthinkable into reality.

Uravu is Making it Happen


The device created by Uravu runs on solar energy to utilize water vapour in the air. A hygroscopic material sucks and stores the water vapour from the air at night and it is heated during the day by solar collectors to release the collected vapours.

The water vapours are then converted into the water which is passed through condenser tubes to produce fresh liquid water.

The whole process runs on 100% renewable energy.

The prototype of the device produces 50 litres of water in a day and is in the development stage of elevating it to 2,000 litres by June.

Check out their website here.   

The Uravu Superteam

The Uravu team comes from varied backgrounds like engineering, sciences, architecture, and design. Founded in 2017 by Swapnil Shrivastav, Sandeep Nutakki, and Venkatesh R, the company aims to develop technology to meet the water need of the expanding population.

Swapnil, the team leader and CEO, and Venkatesh hold undergraduate degrees in Architecture from NIT-Calicut. Sandeep, the data scientist, holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronics from the same college.

Amit and Bharath are the other two members of the team. Amit, the embedded design lead, holds a PG Diploma in Embedded design from NIELIT, Calicut, and Bharath, the engineering lead, holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani.


Uravu is one of the five finalists in the race of the XPRIZE. The competition commenced in 2016 and the teams have come a long way.

After design submission May 2017, the five finalists were announced in January this year and only five teams out of 98 teams hailing from 25 countries, managed to steer clear through round 1 testing.

The five teams are-

  • Hydro Harvest Operation from Australia
  • JMCC WING from the United States
  • Skydra from the United States
  • The Veragon & ThinAir Partnership from the United Kingdom
  • Uravu from India

Each team shows brilliant expertise in the area and equally likely to bag the grand prize. A $250,000 milestone prize will be split between the five finalists to develop and refine their work.

The winner of the grand prize of $1.5 million will be announced in August 2018 after round 2 testing and business plan submission.

The XPRIZE is not an end but a new beginning. The already internationally acclaimed Uravu aims to launch its consumer household device which can be installed on the roof to produce fresh drinkable water within the next two years.

We wish all the luck in the world to all the finalists who are giving all they got to revolutionize the way we produce fresh drinking water.

Source – Water Abundance XPRIZE

Image Credit – Water Abundance XPRIZE, Uravu

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