Watercone Solar Fresh Water

The Watercone is a simple solution to the age-old problem of obtaining clean fresh drinking water from salty sea water.

Watercone - extract fresh water from salt water using the power of the sun and evaporation

As the schematic above shows, the Watercone is a clear plastic cone which is placed over a shallow dish filled with salty water (or even directly over damp ground). Over the course of the day, the energy from the sun helps fresh water to evaporate upwards where it condenses on the inside surface of the Watercone. The Watercone is a type of solar still.


That water trickles down and pools in the rim of the cone. At the end of the day, the clean fresh water collected in the Watercone can be tipped out and collected for use.

Emptying out water collected in a Watercone


The manufacturers of Watercone claim that over 1 litre per day of clean drinking water can be obtained, with an absolute maximum of 1.6 litres. It is made of Makrolon – a polycarbonate which is fully biodegradeable, not sensitive to UV light, and ultra-rugged. The expected useful life of a Watercone is around five years and they will cost around 20 Euro.

Watercones used in the developing world

Watercone has been designed for use in the fifty or more developing countries worldwide with populations living close to the coast but with no access to clean drinking water. A litre of bottled water costs on average $0.50 in the developing world, so a Watercone can pay for itself in just a couple of months.

More Information about Watercone

The official Watercone website contains a lot of information about the Watercone together with photographs and schematic drawings.