Facebook PixelSupplementing the fog-catching nets with resilient tree species to establish a drinking water spring
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Supplementing the fog-catching nets with resilient tree species to establish a drinking water spring

Image credit: Nicole Saffie

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 05, 2020
In Lima, Peru one out of every five families doesn't have access to safe drinking water. Due to there being little rainfall but plenty of fog people have installed huge water-catching nets that condense fog into water droplets. By doing so they catch up to 10.000 liters of water per day.

What if that water could be temporarily invested in aiding a group of resilient trees to grow around each net until a self-sustaining forest took over? For the lack of knowledge of a more suitable candidate, a fast-growing, resilient species like Robinia pseudoacacia comes to mind. This video suggests a better fog-catching candidate - the Douglas fir tree. Robinia would probably grow easier in the hostile environment - so maybe a combination of suitable species that complement each other would be necessary. People could aid the process by bringing their organic waste and composting it around the nets.

When the trees grow to a sufficient height their branches and leaves would take over and condense the fog into droplets that would then drip down the trunks, into the ground. Could this eventually create a water-spring to form near the foot of the hill?

The fog-nets would then be obsolete and Lima would have a more life-friendly ecosystem. This could be repeated in other locations where hilltops are often surrounded by fog.
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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
Found this cool work on fog collection on plant surfaces and biomimetic applications - https://d-nb.info/1136955208/34
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni10 months ago
I like the idea! It is helpful for areas that have seen deforestation in the recent past. However, for areas that have been desert-like, arid for decades, de novo forestation should not be implemented. Firstly, there is more to an ecosystem than trees. Other organisms are dependent on the ecosystem and they won't survive in the new ecosystem. Secondly, reforestation does not work since the soil composition is different and may not support the trees that have been planted. Thirdly, reforested areas may attract wildfires. All of these have been observed [1]. Therefore, selecting a tree species for reforestation will not suffice. It needs to be checked whether that tree will grow in the area and also, what damage will it cause. Reference: 1. https://inhabitat.com/see-the-forest-for-more-than-the-trees-why-reforestation-isnt-working/
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
Do you know of any tree species that are are very resilient while at the same time optimally shaped to condense fog into water droplets?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
There is the "water fountain" tree also known as "dripping" tree on La Gomera, Canary Islands. The species is Ocotea foetens, commonly called til, tilo, stinkwood, or rain tree. This seems like a pretty good candidate.