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Clouds on Tap
Dawn Danby, 23 Nov 03

A beautifully low-tech solution to freshwater access in areas with negligible rainfall, fog-collection arrays have been successfully installed in Chile, Nepal, southern Africa, and other dry, mountainous regions worldwide.

"Fog collectors are inexpensive, passive devices that each produce 200 to 600 liters of fresh water a day by collecting the tiny wind-blown water droplets present in fog. Arrays of collectors produce an average of 5,000 to 15,000 liters of water per day." (From the gov't of Canada and FogQuest, a non-profit initiative for testing and installing arrays)

Outpost magazine also points out their positive impact on public health:

"These "fogcatchers," six by twelve metre structures which resemble volleyball nets, work by trapping water from thick, mountain fog, than channeling it into large storage tanks. In high mountain areas communities can be hundreds of thousands of metres above and hours away from rivers, lakes or streams, and even with that difficult access the water they bring back is often contaminated. First tested in Chile, fog water technology has been met with huge success in parts of the world from Ecuador to Oman."

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when this tech was first tested in chile, after a year, the nets were in total disrepair and the community was spending huge amounts of money trucking in water. the people who set it up simply didn't do any sort of training or capacity building, they just put up nets and went home.

I hope they're doing a better job these days, not just installing stuff, taking pictures, patting themselves on the back and going home!

Posted by: nick on 1 Apr 04



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