Water Resources Management

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1351–1361 | Cite as

Collection of Condensate Water: Global Potential and Water Quality Impacts

  • Kolin J. Loveless
  • Aamir Farooq
  • Noreddine Ghaffour


Water is a valuable resource throughout the world, especially in hot, dry climates and regions experiencing significant population growth. Supplies of fresh water are complicated by the economic and political conditions in many of these regions. Technologies that can supply fresh water at a reduced cost are therefore becoming increasingly important and the impact of such technologies can be substantial. This paper considers the collection of condensate water from large air conditioning units as a possible method to alleviate water scarcity issues. Using the results of a climate model that tested data collected from 2000 to 2010, we have identified areas in the world with the greatest collection potential. We gave special consideration to areas with known water scarcities, including the coastal regions of the Arabian Peninsula, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We found that the quality of the collected water is an important criterion in determining the potential uses for this water. Condensate water samples were collected from a few locations in Saudi Arabia and detailed characterizations were conducted to determine the quality of this water. We found that the quality of condensate water collected from various locations and types of air conditioners was very high with conductivities reaching as low as 18 μS/cm and turbidities of 0.041 NTU. The quality of the collected condensate was close to that of distilled water and, with low-cost polishing treatments, such as ion exchange resins and electrochemical processes, the condensate quality could easily reach that of potable water.


Condensate water collection Water scarcity Water quality Climate model Air conditioning systems 



We are thankful to Professor Georgiy Stenchikov for his help with the climate model. We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Faisal Wali, Lab Manager of KAUST’s Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), for his help with the water quality tests.


Potable Water

water that is drinkable according to WHO and local standards.

Pure / Clean Water

water that can be used in clean industries, such as electronics or boilers, but may or may not be suitable for drinking water, much like distilled water.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kolin J. Loveless
    • 1
  • Aamir Farooq
    • 1
  • Noreddine Ghaffour
    • 2
  1. 1.Clean Combustion Research Center, Division of Physical Sciences and EngineeringKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)ThuwalSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Water Desalination & Reuse CentreKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)ThuwalSaudi Arabia

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