An old technique is revived to provide water for a suffering hillside community.
If newcomers to the hillside village of Bellavista, Peru can stay long enough, and plant enough trees to fend of the dangerous landslides, they just might be able to earn a government title to the unclaimed land.
Surviving there is doubtful, however, as the village, located just outside Lima, suffers from a severe lack of fresh water.
According to Climate Prep, "the lack of water available has meant that planting and irrigating the trees has become extremely difficult for longtime residents as well as newcomers. Additionally, the lack of reliable water resources means that the villagers are spending ten times the amount that city dwellers spend on water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking as it must be transported up the hills on a weekly basis."
To combat this problem, two German biologists have decided to implement a new-old solution: fog harvesting. Kai Tiedemann and Anne Lummerich set up a network of coarse woven mesh nets patterned after the fog harvesting technology developed by FogQuest founder Robert Schemenauer for Chilean villagers in the 1980s.
How It Works
- Between June and November, a dense fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean and engulfs the steep, dry hillside.
- Wind blows the heavy fog through the nets where tiny droplets stick to the coarse woven mesh.
- As more droplets stick to the net they clump together and form larger, heavier drops which eventually fall into a stone gutter.
According to the biologists, one net alone is able to collect as much as 568 liters in a single day. Since 2006, the community has been able to collect as much as 94,635 liters of water via the fog harvesting devices.
The water collected by the nets has allowed the villagers to plant the Tara trees needed to obtain a title to the land they live on and also provides them with enough free water for other purposes as well.
Also read: 24 Things To Make You Smarter About Water
Images by Anne Lummerich via National Geographic