More than two billion people live in countries affected by a lack of clean drinking water. Soon, a Canadian innovation — inspired by a biological adaptation found in certain lizard species — will make it possible for people to pull a glass of water right out of the air.

The company, called AWN Nanotech, has developed a device that absorbs water vapor from the atmosphere and converts it to liquid fresh water using almost no energy. Known as an “atmospheric water generator”, or AWG, the device consists of a high-tech cloth specifically engineered to mimic absorption capabilities of the skin of thorny devil lizards, which pulls moisture from the environment directly into the lizard’s mouth. Each square meter of the nanotech textile can convert up to 12 liters of water per hour, depending on the air’s humidity.

Although the device is not the first to convert moisture in the air to water, the company claims that its product is more energy efficient than other similar available materials. The technology uses only 0.01 kWh of solar energy (about 15 percent of what a standard lightbulb uses) to produce one liter of water, and the absorption process itself requires no energy at all.