Watch how fog harvesters may help reduce water shortages


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/24/watch-how-fog-harvesters-may-h.html


#2

But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!


#3

I would be curious to know how this will affect areas downwind of the harvester. It not like the water just disappears into the ether if you don’t catch it; so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if water-laden air currents are somewhat like rivers in that they are a handy source; if you don’t mind drying out the guy downstream.

Since it’s cool, here’s a Dew harvesting beetle who would probably be sad if you harvested his water vapor.

Since I have fond memories; anyone else remember using terraforming in Alpha Centauri to change moisture patterns and deny enemy factions food production? The model was fairly simple; but you could raise mountains that would increase moisture on your side(assuming correct wind direction) and leave the opposition with a bunch of arid rock.


#4

Unlike ideas that ignore the laws of thermodynamics, this one works, but is limited to places that get a useful amount of fog/dew.


#5

Sir, my first job was programming binary loadlifters—very similar to your vaporators in most respects.


#6

What’s with the weird, random CGI desert sequence in the video…?


#7

I remember reading about a project to install dew collectors in the Atacama. They worked, but they were fragile and impossible for the locals to repair. It only took a few years for them to be abandoned


#8

The dew collectors can be used for each bush, each weed. Saguaro cactus, burro bush, date palm, sand verbena, evening primrose, barrel cactus, incense bush, smoke tree, creosote bush…


#10

I would have been disappointed if this exact post was not the first one in the thread.


#11

Came for this. Not disappointed.


#12

I’ve seen someone use one of these in their garden to great effect. Lived on a mountain in a dry-ish area of CA that rarely got rain. Had trees trees but also a long dry season. Basically they had built a 4-foot ‘wall’ of these (monofilament fishing line IIRC) on the uphill side of all their raised beds, they would catch the ground level air and any overnight dew would drip down them straight into the raised beds, a bit at a time, all night every night. Self watering garden beds, which is good, because water wasn’t easy there.


#13

Not a ton of water (proportionally speaking) is captured unless its done at an industrial scale. Though capturing the water does raise questions of human intervention interrupting a natural cycle, but then again some countries are also actively trying to seed clouds to force them to rain.


#14

Most rain falls into the oceans. This method could make sense in islands and coastal areas. Pine trees already achieve this, for example in the Canary Islands:

However, a significant source of groundwater comes from “horizontal rain,” a process which involves Canary pine trees (Pinus canariensis), low altitude clouds, porous tuff and impermeable dykes. When humid air from the ocean moves over the volcanic mountains of La Palma, it is forced to ascend to a higher altitude by the topography of the island. As it cools and its pressure decreases, at a certain height water precipitates and cloud is formed. Since the air is ascending along the mountain, the clouds are often formed at ground level and flow though the Canary pine tree forests as they continue to rise. The type of pine tree endemic to the island typically has needles as long as 15 cm long. Water droplets are captured on these needles from the rising clouds, fall onto the ground and enter to the subsurface.

This could work in the coastal areas of California, where we frequently have morning fog. We should be planting more trees and have means to collect the resulting ground water before it flows back into the ocean.


#15

I trust these researchers, because they know how to use the words “comprise” and “compose” properly.


#16

Many island archipelagos do not have a lot of potable water, and installation of devices like this on the windward side can help inhabitants residing on the leeward side. It may also be helpful in arid coastal areas like the southern and eastern Mediterranean. But it would certainly need to be at scale to service households, maybe like rooftop solar.


#17

You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done.


#18

I don’t know what’s so great about this. I mistrust anything involving a HAARP, even if it’s for a good purpose like harvesting water.

images


#19

Some scientists WAG that redwood trees get 25-50% of their water from fog.

Reminds me of the time I was at Point Reyes, north of San Francisco. It was very windy and foggy but there was no rain except for what was falling from the cypress trees.


#20

Feh!

Write me an article when you’ve got the deathsills up and running.


#21

The great thing about HAARP-harvested water is that it comes pre-fluoridated, with subtle notes of ■■■■■ metabolites collected at peak ripeness from their native chemtrails.