Peruvian farmers harvest water from fog

Peruvian farmer irrigating with fog water photo
Video screen capture Makeshift

If you live halfway up a mountain in rural Peru, and if you have no access to running water, farming can be a difficult task. In a town called Villa Lourdes, villagers receive deliveries of fresh drinking water three times a week from Lima—and they used to have to schlep a good deal of that water up the hill to irrigate their crops. That's until a different, all together more elegant solution presented itself:


Using 'Atrapanieblas'—large nets erected on the hillside—farmers like Maria Teresa Avalos Cucho take advantage of the daily fog to capture condensation, harvesting between 200 and 400 liters a day from each panel—which is then stored in tanks, and gravity-fed to the crops below.

It's efficient. It's resilient. And it's a hell of a lot more economical than paying truck drivers to bring water each day. According to the fabulous Permaculture Magazine, where I found this particular gem of a video, harvesting fog also has particular potential in coastal areas where the alternative is energy-hungry desalination. As we've noted before, fog harvesting also has been utilized in urban areas to bring fresh water to the slums.

Check out ClimateTechWiki for more on the technicalities of fog harvesting.

Peruvian farmers harvest water from fog
Necessity breeds ingenuity. And ingenuity replaces diesel trucks as a means to access water.

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