12 Moses West: Inventor of the Atmospheric Water Generator

Amy Minervini

[Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level: 8.9]

Moses West is a self-described military kid who moved around with his family until they settled in southern Texas. Following in his father’s footsteps, he eventually became an Army Ranger and served as a combat fighter. West said, “I combine a very unique background as a prior member of the United States Armed Forces where I was an esteemed member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Second Armored Division, the Second Infantry Division, the Seventh Cavalry Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division” (Welch).

When he was stationed overseas, West became aware of the essential need for fresh water while on the battlefield. Soldiers like him were often told to use iodine drops to purify water from creeks and rivers (Truck N’ Hustle). Iodine can be used in emergency situations to disinfect potentially harmful water.

A waist up photo of Moses West pictured smiling with his arms crossed in front of a building with white siding.
Photo of Moses West, courtesy of The Moses West Foundation website.

“When we are in these situations, you would throw a guy a canteen. He would take the top off, he wouldn’t even look, and he put his lips on and drink it. And he would hand it to another soldier and another soldier and another soldier, and nobody would wipe the top. Water was the great equalizer. Ask any soldier about it. You know when you’ve made it: when you share a canteen and nobody wipes the top” (Truck N’ Hustle).

After he retired from the army, he moved to Australia and later Europe where he noticed evidence of climate change all around him. He studied cisterns extensively, thinking about how they may solve the water crisis. One day when he was sitting down and chatting with a friend on a visit to Hawaii, he noticed a little machine on the table. The machine was able to condense all the water from this person’s house and make a couple of fresh cups of water on the spot. “It was some of the best water I had. I said . . . if someone can make a little one, I can make a big one” (Truck N’ Hustle). And that’s how West scaled up the small condenser to create his Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) and founded his company Atmospheric Water Generator Contracting LLC.

West’s patented technology pulls water from the air into the machine and out comes water. “The warmer and wetter the region, the higher the content of water evaporation, and the greater production of water” (Welch). Wright said he stopped counting after his machines made their millionth gallon of water. The internal components of the machine uses various filters, sterilization lights, and reverse osmosis to generate water from the humidity in the air. The ideal humidity needs to be above 20 percent for this machine to be effective.

When asked how much math and science is involved in the construction of this machine, West answered, “Oh, an excessive amount! But what I’ve done is I’ve limited the moving parts. . . The math and science that goes into the machine has to do with how much air comes in, how fast it goes in, the surface area to how much water it’s going to produce, how fast the water pumps out. And all those calculations, once you do the formulas, I could teach it to high school kids” (Truck N’ Hustle).

Each standard AWG machine can be built in 24 hours and hauled to its destination in the back of a truck. The smaller version of this highly portable machine can supply fresh water to at least 500 people (Moses West Foundation). Wright is able to custom build even bigger AWGs to supply water to larger populations–from the military bases to small towns and larger cities.

Wright also runs a non-profit organization, the Moses West Foundation, that relies on donations to provide AWGs to any location that might be suffering from contaminated water due to military unrest, weather-ravaged areas, or places where a temporary loss of resources could benefit from his technology. He was recently asked to send AWGs to the Ukraine, and the AWG he sent to Puerto Rico was powered by solar energy.


Writing Prompts

Narrative: Write an 8 to 10 line free verse or rhyming poem about water (its life-giving qualities, its scarcity, its strength, its wildness, etc.). You choose the theme that best reflects the message you want to share.

Informative: Explain ONE of the following processes and how it works, step-by-step, for someone who isn’t sure what this term means: reverse osmosis, condensation, or dehumidifying.

Persuasive: According to the World Health Organization, to scale up means to expand or replicate innovative pilot or small-scale projects to reach more people and/or broaden the effectiveness of an intervention. When Moses Wright was inspired by the small condenser, he invented a larger version and trialed many models. Once he was satisfied with its output, he scaled up production to bring this eco-friendly machine to more people. Make an argument for why it’s necessary for many inventions to be scaled up in order to make the most impact while keeping in mind counterarguments for keeping inventions at a smaller (start-up) level or manufactered in small batches.

Creative/Application: Can you make muddy water crystal clear? Try this experiment to make a water filter following the steps from Science-U.org, found on the Idaho PBS Learning Media website.

Works Cited

Moses West Foundation. “Retired Army Ranger Answers Call to Donate Atmospheric Water Generation Technology to Ukraine.” PR Newswire: Press Release Distribution, Targeting, Monitoring and Marketing, 13 June 2022, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/retired-army-ranger-answers-call-to-donate-atmospheric-water-generation-technology-to-ukraine-301566813.html. Accessed 6 Apr. 2023.

“Moses West.” Photograph. The Moses West Foundation, 2022, Accessed 6 Apr. 2023.

Truck N’ Hustle. “Moses West “exposes” poison in water, droughts, selling to military & clearn water from thin air!” YouTube, 6 Sept. 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLbnGaoSr-U&t=4033s. Accessed 6 Apr. 2023.

Welch, Dylan. “Pulling Water From Thin Air: Moses West.” Green.org, 31 July 2022, green.org/2022/07/26/pulling-water-from-thin-air-moses-west/. Accessed 6 Apr. 2023.


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