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Fog water collectors on El Tofo mountain, Chile. Water from the fog condenses on these large nets.
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Courtesy of IDRC / CDRI; Photographer Sitoo Mukerji

Finding Water in the Sky

People who live in the Atacama Desert have a hard time finding the water they need. There is very little water there. One place where people get the water they need to survive is from the sky.

Fog fills the sky in the Atacama near the coast. And fog is made of water. Some of the people who live in the desert are able to get water by taking it from the fog.

People there have been capturing water from fog using screens that have very small mesh. The water in the fog condenses on the screens and drips into troughs below. Pipes carry the water to where it will be used. The first project collecting water with screens was on Chile’s El Tofo Mountain in the early 1990s.

Today there are fog collectors in 25 countries in Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Asia.

Last modified September 18, 2008 by Lisa Gardiner.

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