Fog water collectors on El Tofo mountain, Chile. Water from the fog condenses on these large nets.
Click on image for full size
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.
You might also be interested in:
The Atacama Desert is in Chile in South America. It is one of the driest places on Earth. Somehow a few kinds of plants, animals, and microbes are able to live there. Even some people live and work in...more
Fog is a cloud that touches the ground. Fog usually forms when moist air travels over cold land or water. The moist air cools down and the water vapor condenses and forms a cloud near the Earth's surface....more
Condensation is when water changes its state from a vapor or gas to a liquid. Condensation is responsible for the formation of clouds. Common examples of condensation are: dew forming on grass in the early...more
The weather in the Southeast Pacific region is thought of as extreme, because it receives very little rain and is extremely dry. For example, some places in the Atacama Desert in Chile receive less than...more
Sometimes scientists have to go far from home to find answers to their questions. Just like you, they have many questions, such as: What types of clouds form over the Pacific Ocean? What instruments should...more
Scientists use satellites in the VOCALS field campaign. They also gather data from instruments on ships and on airplanes. They put the data from the satellites, ships, and aircraft together to get a better...more
There are many connections between the ocean and the atmosphere in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. Strong winds blow north along the coast of South America. These winds stir up the ocean. That brings cold...more