Potable water accessibility is mission-critical for the Department of Defense (DoD), but is logistically challenging and not environmentally sustainable, as its delivery and transportation is heavily dependent upon equipment, fuel, and personnel. Drinking water distribution and backup supply of trucked or bottled water has high environmental costs and can also lead to additional risks and casualties.

The current approaches and technology solutions to provide backup drinking water supplies at DoD installations pose various environmental problems. All involve fossil fuel or electric powered water purification systems, or reserves of single-use plastic bottled water. The transport, manufacture and disposal of single use plastics or hauling water produce high levels of carbon emissions. Traditional air-to-water generators also depend on an external power source and are extremely energy intensive. Eliminating the potable water supply chain by generating water directly from moisture in the air anywhere, anytime, can result in a reduction of casualties and the environmental costs of other solutions.

The objective of this project is to demonstrate SOURCE Field’s capability to generate, store, sterilize, and dispense a 14-day clean drinking water supply for DoD personnel completely independent of existing infrastructure and external power or water inputs. The SOURCE Field will improve the security, availability and delivery of drinking water by providing a self-contained, self-powered drinking water supply entirely independent of incumbent energy and water systems.

Technology Description

The SOURCE Hydropanel is a solar-powered and infrastructure-free drinking water solution that represents a first in transparency, resiliency, security and quality. SOURCE is powered by an integral combination of solar photovoltaics and high-efficiency solar thermal to efficiently produce high-purity water even in some of the driest deserts in the world.

The project seeks to demonstrate the core capability of a SOURCE Field to create a backup drinking water supply for DoD installations and personnel. A successful project will prove the SOURCE Field’s capacity to generate, store, sterilize, and dispense a 14-day clean supply of drinking water in various climatic conditions and seasons, functioning fully autonomous of an external power source in the case that incumbent power and drinking water supplies are disrupted.


The core benefit of a SOURCE Field is to provide the DoD with the innovative new capability to harvest large volumes of drinking water for human consumption in a manner that is entirely non-extractive to local water resources. SOURCE Hydropanels are powered entirely with clean and renewable energy, and can offset significant amounts of single-use plastics and related greenhouse gas emissions.