Desert Fog Nets Catch 10,000 Liters Of Water Daily
These “fog-catchers” or fog nets are helping to supply safe and clean drinking water to impoverished families who live in the outskirts of Lima Peru, in the Atacama Desert, which is known as the driest place on earth.
The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama Desert and includes the deserts south of the Ica Region in Peru.
In Lima, one out of every five families, or almost 2 million people, don’t have access to safe drinking water, which can cause disease. Instead, they must rely on costly, outsourced water that’s delivered by trucks and aren’t often reliable.
This also has a high CO2 footprint. Thanks to a compassionate and innovative project launched by the Dutch non-profit, Creating Water Foundation, 60 fog nets have been set up to provide almost 500 families access to 10,000 liters of safe drinking water, which is also used for local fog-farms to grow organic food locally.
This forward-thinking fog farming technology relies almost entirely on the presence of frequent fog and wind. The critical factors for the success of fog farming technology include the density of the fog, wind speed and direction, and the material of the mesh.
Made from polypropylene nets, these life-saving fog-catchers collect tiny water droplets from the fog. They are ideal for dry coastal areas with high amounts of fog, which carry large quantities of fresh water in the air.
For optimal results, the fog nets are strategically placed on hilltops. The storage tanks are placed in deliberate locations in the valley and use gravity to transport the collected water. Once fog forms in the area, it makes its way through the nets and tiny droplets of water come together to form droplets heavy enough to move down the nets and into tubes.
The collected water is then stored in tanks to provide clean drinking water for the locals and to produce food sustainably. The key factors are wind, condensation, and gravity. What’s great about fog farming is the fact that it’s “a passive solution,” meaning that it doesn’t require any energy besides the filtering process.
The Creating Water Foundation points out that it “completely depends on the forces from Mother nature where the water can be utilized to drink safely or grow crops.”