Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Production has shut off our water. Can we create our own water supply? - Water out of thin air. - It's, like, monstrous. - Ready? - I'm nervous. I'm nervous, too. - Aah! What the ( bleep )? - It smells like shit. I can defy stereotypes about gay men and I can ( bleep ) do this. - Oh! - Look at that! It is going in here. You can really feel it. - Pretty much a shower. - ( yelps ) Mitch: We're feeling the heat, and it's not just our sexy good looks. - It's climate change. - Oh. Greg: And through our YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, we detail some of the biggest issues we're facing. We're going to go to the farm. So we're taking our passion for the environment and scientific know-how out of the classroom and into the country. Greg: We are going off the grid. Mitch: One by one, we'll shut off our basic necessities... Production has officially turned off our power. I'm freaking out. ...allowing us to experiment with everything from new technology, to traditional technology, to find solutions that promote sustainability. - Oh, my gosh. - Greg: And with help from our team, we will use science... Mitch: For a little self-reliance. Yes! It works! See ya, city, because... Both: This is "Shut It Off Asap." Production has shut off our water. Which means we got to find a source of water to survive, basically. And water, as you know, is essential. There's actually no organism on this planet that we know of that doesn't need water to survive. - Even the famous tardigrade which we're all obsessed-- - Famous tardigrade. The famous tardigrade coming to the stage... ( air horn blares ) ...doesn't need food or air, but does need water, and Canadians use 329 liters of water a day. That's a lot of bathing that we're doing, long showers that we're taking. Its even more water being used than Americans, and no Canadian would ever want an American to know that we use more. More than most of the world, honestly. So I think we have our work cut out for us to make sure we can supply ourselves with enough water to survive. And if we can't do that, at least this is a gorgeous place to die. Mitch: This farm is in an isolated rural community. Going to the corner store to pick up some water is not an option. The very first things I do every single day involve a lot of water. And so to fully disrupt that is going to be a complete lifestyle shift. The water crisis is real. In less than 20 years, the world's demand for fresh water will be more than the supply. But only if we continue to extract and consume water the way we do right now. Most of the world relies on groundwater or aquifers that are running out fast, so today we're going to be harvesting water from the air, the rain, and nearby streams to show alternative ways we can get the stuff. And who knows? In the future, these concepts may save our lives. Our water goal for survival is 2.5 liters of water for drinking, 3 liters for cooking, and only 2 liters for bathing our pits and bodies. Which is hundreds less than we would typically use, right? And even that, I'm like, I think I need to conserve even more. I'm just nervous about how we're going to get this water. - Have you heard of a dew harvester before? - No. So these are actually used in certain regions in the world where water is scarce or access to water is really far away. They can collect anywhere between 10 to 100 liters of water a day from something like this. This is just a model, but the real thing will be built 10 meters tall. - No! - Like, five versions of us. Huge. And the premise of it is to try and extract water out of the air even when it's not raining through condensation and dew. Mine is a rainwater collection system that we're actually going to install onto our cabin. - Cool. Okay, okay. - I'm going to drill. I'm going to make eavestroughs, slant them all towards a specific collection tank, which we're actually going to raise. We're going to be collecting the water in this tank and using a tube and the force of gravity. I'm hoping that I can connect it to our faucet so that we can use the water to wash our dishes, wash our hands. And I'm also hoping that we can get a pump system to create a shower. - Key. - Key, key, key. - I've been wondering. I was going to wonder. - Key, key, key. So it comes potentially from that same tank. - This is thine hope. - These are both fun, big ideas, but it's not about the size of the project that matters. it's about making sure we're able to collect enough water to survive, and I'm getting thirsty. So let's begin the build starting with the dew tower. I'm glad I have a build team with me to point me in the right direction because I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm supervising, if that's all right. Here's a perfect little experiment to help understand how our dew tower's actually going to work. You know when you get a nice ice water and the outside of the glass starts to fog or actually get wet? It's because warm air actually holds more moisture than cold air. So as the warm air blows past this nice cold water, it decreases in temperature, and hits something called the dew point, where it deposits water from the air onto the glass. It's the reason this glass with no ice has no wetness because the air doesn't really change its temperature very much. That's actually the same principle as our dew tower. The plastic has air blowing through it, and at night, this plastic is going to cool down more than the air. And the hope is that it will hit the dew point, where the air can't hold the water anymore. It deposits on this, trickles down into our jug, and that's how we're going to get water. Once the dew collects, we have drips. Dripping, the force of gravity forcing it down. Force of gravity. And then we have a funnel to collect all this water. - Oh, my gosh. - And then how we have the bucket at the bottom. Every morning we can go and check and see how much water we actually have underneath. How did you think of this? I mean, well, it was actually inspired by nature, something called biomimicry. For example, the atlas moth, which evolved wings that look like two cobra heads. This helps protect it from being eaten by visual predators such as birds. Biomimicry is a field of study in which humans actively seek out advantageous traits of other species to make our lives better. This dew harvester is based on traits of the namib beetle. Namib beetles live in dry conditions and lean their bodies towards fog-dense wind to collect water from microscopic bumps on their back, which they then drink. Studying these animals has led to fog and dew harvesters all over the world, like in Morocco, where people in the Sahara Desert use mesh to capture fog and dew for themselves. I love that with scientific design. We're always trying to figure out things. Just look to nature and you'll find the answers. It can actually just be inspired by the world around us. Yeah. We're starting our rainwater collection system today, and I do obviously need help. So we have Kevin from the YouTube Channel Modern Self Reliance, who is going to help me with some self-relying. What do we have here? This is the main bread and butter - of what we're about to do? - Yes, this is the eave trough. So what do I do? Just lift it? Is it heavy? - It's not heavy. - Oh, my God. Look how-- - Look at that! - It makes you feel strong, right? - Seriously, get this. Say that it's heavy. - It's heavy. Oh, it's so heavy. Kevin and I are going to install the eavestrough on the bunky to collect the rainwater in a barrel. The water will be unfiltered, so it's not safe to drink, but we can use it to wash our dishes and our bodies. And we're going to need it, because over 80 percent of household water is used for showering, washing clothes, watering the lawn, and flushing thine toilet. I avoid drills. I avoid building things. I don't really know why I'm making this show now that I'm saying all of this out loud. I think that I can defy stereotypes about gay men, and I can do ( bleep ) do this. - Are we allowed to swear? - We can bleep it.