In Peru, a ‘Foggy’ Solution To a Water Shortage

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Millions of people in Peru lack access to safe water and sewage services. But Abel Cruz Gutiérrez has a solution. Gutiérrez, president of the “Peruvians Without Water” association, uses an ingenious system of “fog catchers” to make water accessible to residents of Lima’s low-income neighborhoods.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

The fog catchers resemble large rectangular sailboat sails, which are composed of nylon nets that trap microdroplets of water. The nets are set up along the foggy areas of coastal Peru and are connected to pipes, which collect the water for larger storage tanks.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

Residents can then use this water as irrigation for crops or to raise animals. And while the water isn’t currently drinkable, Gutiérrez is working on a solution to that as well.
The technique was pioneered in Chile in the 1950s.

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The fog is pushed through fine mesh where it condenses, trickles down, and gets collected below. It’s a cheap, effective, and clean way to source water.

The nets harvest precious water for crops and animals: 140 square meters provide 840 liters of water per day, shared among 85 landowners.

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