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College students tackle food insecurity and water scarcity

July 11, 2023
By Ariel Piyale-Anisman

With sustainability in mind, a team of Concordia students is working hard to help solve the issue of food insecurity as it relates to water scarcity. Though there are many consequences associated with water scarcity, one pressing issue is the problem of being unable to grow adequate amounts and/or high-quality food without sufficient amounts of freshwater.

Regardless of the reality stemming from water scarcity, there is a relatively untapped and renewable source of water that researchers have started to take advantage of – that of atmospheric water. As a result, these students are developing a solution called the AWG-V Farm (otherwise known as the “atmospheric water generating vertical farm”) to help facilitate the lives of these farmers. The AWG-V Farm a fog-harvesting vertical farm unit designed to collect water from the atmosphere and use this water for the plants in the combinatory farm. This unit would be an accessible, affordable, and easy-to-use solution for rural subsistence farmers who suffer from food insecurity due to water scarcity, with other potential benefits too. Currently, the target audience is rural South African farmers in water scarce regions, but the team’s ultimate goal is to find a sustainable solution for those experiencing water stress across Africa and the world.

With this idea, the AWG-V Team won the spring internal World’s Challenge Challenge hosted at Concordia and proceeded to participate in the Global Finals at Western University in London, Ontario. Additionally, they have even received an Experiential Learning grant to help fund their project. They continue to work hard by remaining in contact with several local leaders in their targeted area, developing their social media presence, building a functional prototype, and much more. While the road ahead remains a long one, they are extremely passionate about the opportunity to help those in need and push the world one step closer to achieving some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about the project below or on Instagram.

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