Mapping non-conventional atmospheric drinking-water harvesting opportunities in Central Eurasia: The case of Kazakhstan

Tamerlan Srymbetov, Albina Jetybayeva, Dinara Dikhanbayeva, Luis Rojas-Solórzano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drinking water scarcity is becoming an urgent problem worldwide, and it affects developing and developed countries alike. Kazakhstan is not an exception and has its primary sources of drinking water (groundwater, rivers, and lakes) continuously depleted and polluted; moreover, the country will be close to its exploitation limits within the following decades. However, modern technologies allow us to harvest drinking water from unintegrated sources, like the atmosphere. Therefore, it is crucial to research which non-conventional technologies can be used to obtain drinking water from unintegrated sources for the country, considering the cost, viability of use through the year, and local climate conditions. Thus, the present assessment was performed for the 14 demographic regions in Kazakhstan and two city-states, and a map depicting the most feasible technology for each region is presented, including their levelized cost per liter. Seven mature technologies were found to be feasible in Kazakhstani year-round climates. However, Air AW3 technology and Artificial Glaciers (AG) were the most cost-effective for family-size and village-size solutions, respectively. The water provided via utility pipelines proved to be the most cost-effective manner, when available, to supply drinking water at a family-size scale, but found a less expensive competitor in the AG technology for village-size solutions. Moreover, the lack of utility water pipelines in some Kazakhstani regions, principally countryside rural areas, makes it vital to deploy and implement these alternative water-harvesting technologies to guarantee the future water security of these regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-113
Number of pages27
JournalNatural Resources Forum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • atmospheric water harvesting
  • drinking water
  • economic performance
  • Kazakhstan
  • unintegrated sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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