Fabric supported by bamboo sticks in spiral structure gathers and directs water to a storage tank via hydrophobic, angled surface.

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Chaac-ha is a water collection system described by its designers, Team Panteras, as “a device that collects rainwater and dew, taking advantage of Yucatan’s wet weather. [It] is able to collect at least 2.5 liters of water per night.”  “The design is inspired by the form and function of bromeliads for the collector and spider webs for the structure,” explains the team. “In the case of bromeliad, we specifically emulated the structures called trichomes that are found in the epidermis of the plant. The form of the collector of Chaac-ha was designed based on the bromeliad’s foliage arrangement and its catchment area. It has the function of collecting and storing water.” The collector is made of a hydrophobic fabric that's also bacteria-resistant and flexible. The supporting structure for the collector “[emulates] the structural characteristics of the spider web.” Specifically, “it is based on the radial distribution system of forces of the spider web.” The spiral supporting structure is “made of bamboo sticks (reused from the fishing in the region),” surrounding a central water reservoir.  Team Panteras advises, “the Chaac-ha should be placed in a location with vegetation, preferably near trees. During the night, the dew forms on the fabric, and its inclination will head the water to the tank. This same applies in the case of rainwater.” 

Biomimicry Story

For the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge focused on water access and management, Team Panteras looked to address the issue of water scarcity. The team explains that their particular focus was on “the problem of water access in rural communities which are the main ones lacking of this resource.” Their water collector system was designed for use by individual dwellings.  Harvesting rainwater and dew, Team Panteras’ design “makes evident and urgent a rational and responsible water use, which allows its supply in quantity and quality over time through a dynamic and ecological balance.” Team Panteras members include Diana Carolina Vega Basto, Luis Didier Cox Tamay, Andy Francisco Arjona Massa, Cindy Beatriz, Shirley Molina, and Álvaro Jesús Buenfil Ovando of Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, MX.   Check out this video to learn more about the Chaac-ha Water System Collector from Team Panteras. This page was contributed by Team Panteras of Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán.

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