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A US-based company has launched a new solar "water from air" device in Cape Town to alleviate some of the pressure placed on municipal and groundwater supply.

Speaking at the launch, US consul general in Cape Town Virginia Blaser explained that the device, dubbed SOURCE, uses sunlight and air to make safe, pure drinking water. Powered entirely by solar, the device extracts water vapour from the air and converts it into liquid water similar to distilled water, Fin24 reported.

This water is then mineralised with magnesium and calcium before being delivered to a tap, media added.

According to the Arizona-based firm, the device utilises an ultra-absorbent material that collects water from the air around it in even arid conditions. An average of 3 to 5 litres of water is produced per panel per day.

Cody Friesen, Zero Mass Water's founder and CEO said: "About half a trillion litres of bottled water are sold each year at a huge cost and use of plastic.

"We still live in the Roman era in terms of the way we supply water. The question for me was whether we could leapfrog the process of water supply." Read more: How to curb water wastage amid drought

Friesen noted that there was "endless" scope to apply the device in municipalities with failing infrastructures or homes where families were looking for better drinking water, adding that the device had technology installed for emergency situations, he added.

Currently, it will cost around R30,000 per panel for installation. The average home needs two panels, media reported.

Blaser has brought together a working group she says is "keeping an eye on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals".

"We want to see how we can bring together local expertise with US experts, so I started a working group keeping an eye on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals," she said.