Jonny Umaña is 22 years old and developed a system with mesh, three poles and three channels to obtain water. The objective is to promote it and take it to remote areas of La Guajira and Chocó.
Who is Jonny Umaña?
A young man of 22 years, a social entrepreneur, a student of civil engineering and passionate about entrepreneurship.
What is Nebulón?
It is an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of people who do not have access to drinking water. We do this by installing and maintaining mist collection systems in optimal locations, to benefit the vulnerable population.
In what places have you done it and proven that it is successful?
Nebulón began with academic research and then facilities were made in Chipaque (Cundinamarca) and in La Belleza (Santander). There we do experimentation. What we managed to find is that a Nebulón manages to obtain approximately 28 liters of water each dawn.
What is a Nebulón?
A Nebulón is a structure that consists of three poles, a mesh, three channels and a basket. The mist passes through the mesh and a condensation process occurs, then drop by drop down the mesh it falls to the channel and goes to the storage tank. It can be understood as a system that captures the mist of the atmosphere and converts it into drinking water.
What is the largest amount of water that can be captured in a night or early morning?
It depends on many factors, such as humidity and temperature. For example, in Chipaque, which is a very high area and very cold, you can get 28 liters of water between night and dawn, while in Santander we may capture 26 liters, but our great challenge is to reach marginalized areas, such as Chocó, and with a more investigative process go to La Guajira, because it is a very low area, so we must capture from the air.
How do you plan to do it in La Guajira?
We take into account the studies and background. For example, the Atacama Desert, which is the driest in the world. At night it lowers its temperature so much that moisture can be obtained from the air. We know that La Guajira is a complicated area, but we are already advancing academic research. To get water there we must reach a dew point. It can be done, but we must work more in the mesh, and that is the process we are advancing with the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente.
How expensive is this whole project, to understand how massive it can be?
We recently left the experimental part and started to create prototypes. On August 21 we released the first prototype in the social entrepreneurship forum made by Recon, in Cali. We still do not have the final price, we look for the cost to be low so that low-income people can access it. We seek that this occurs through government relations or external agents.
What makes that water drinkable? How do they treat it in the basket?
Yes, it is drinkable. We know many sources, such as rivers or páramos, but here what happens is that moisture and dew are sources of water, what happens is that we have not had the conviction to extract that water and that is what Nebulón is doing in this moment with the project.
How many people are behind Nebulón?
There are people from the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente and there is the Recon team, but I started on my own, from a university research. Now with all these partners, there are four engineers working on design issues.
Is it possible to scale this model? Turn it massive? Export it?
That is the idea: to leave research and generate feasible solutions, which are massive, that we can provide drinking water to all of Colombia. Nebulón seeks to generate a system that is feasible, flexible, easy to assemble, easily transported, that happens in Colombia, but also the rest of Latin America and the world. That is why we are working and that is the expectation we have.
Today you are part of the Recon network. What has it given you?
A lot. It has been the opportunity to generate the prototype that we could not do before due to lack of economic resources. Also, the partnership with the university and the way they have helped us to structure everything, because we are looking for a solution among all, because we all need clean water.
Via: El Espectador
By: Edwin Bohórquez
See note HERE