Desert Fog Catchers

fogWe woke up to a very foggy morning in Ottawa…so we have this story.

In Marrakesh , Morocco on the edge of the Sahara large nets catch the moisture in the foggy air and turn it into drinking water. The fine mesh on the nets mimics the process that causes water to be formed on pine trees or redwoods to make up for rainfall.

 

They have the world’s largest fog collecting project. The pilot project now provides clean drinking water to 500 people in five villages in the region, an area that has been subject to drought.fog1

Fog harvesting began some years ago in South America, and there are now active projects in several areas of the world. For this particular project in Morocco the nets are set up at 4000 ft above sea level and collect an average of 6,000 liters of water a day, which is filtered and piped to the villagers.  The moisture is pushed by the ocean winds and trapped in the mountains and therefore relatively easy to harvest as the mountains are draped in fog 140 days a yr. fog2

Before the nets made tap water available, villagers would have to walk 3 hours a day to get water from wells….sometimes the wells would be dry with the only alternative would be to pay for water to be trucked in.

The nets work well but the system is not maintenance free. as the high winds can damage the nets. A Canadian NGO called Fogquest has a new version called CloudFisher which promises to be maintenance free and can catch twice the water.

Having access to clean water has made a huge difference to the locals lives. I will look at fog a bit differently now.

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