“This machine will produce water for a lot less than you can buy bottled water at Costco for, and I believe, as time goes on and the price of freshwater through our utilities goes up, I think it’s going to more than pay for itself,” he said.
Besides the high price tag, the unit also requires a significant amount of energy to run. But Johnson said the solar panels on his roof produce enough power to operate the machine without additional energy costs.
Experts like University of California, Davis hydrology researcher Helen Dahlke said the technology makes sense for individual homeowners, especially in rural areas. But she said it is not a practical solution for California’s broader water woes.
Dahlke said the focus should be on fighting global warming to prevent future droughts.
“We really actually need to curb climate warming to really make a difference again,” she said.