Water in the desert is far from common, and it is not surprising that we even have a saying “as rare as water in the desert.” Still, with modern technology, we are not that helpless anymore. For over a decade now, the fog catchers have been used to collect water from vapours found in the deserts. Just because it is invisible, doesn’t mean it isn’t there – water collected from the atmosphere is a precious source for the local population and the plants as well.
How does this work? The fog catchers are essentially vertical panels of polyethylene mesh. They collect water from fog and channel it to storage tanks. This simple and yet innovative technology can ensure a higher quality of life in many communities located in desert areas. In some of these areas, the fog catchers can collect as much as 600 gallons of water in one day! It is a dramatic difference, and one that frees poor people from outrageously high water prices.
Still, installing the panels into dry regions all over the world takes time, dedication and funding. One such initiative was started in year 2000 by a small Canadian non-profit organisation called FogQuest. As a charity that helps small rural communities in developing countries, they have so far established projects in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Nepal, Chile, Eritrea and Morocco.
In recent years, Fog Catchers are becoming more and more common, bringing hope and making life in desert areas less difficult. We hope that this initiative will flourish even more with time, improving the quality of human life, improving the irrigation for the flora and ensuring that future won’t bring a complete lack of water reserve in some places.
At the end, we would also like to mention that fog catchers aren’t the only technology used for collecting water from the atmosphere. Atmospheric water generators are another approach which uses technology to collect water from the air.