Is that fog or a bottle of water?

From Click2Pins on Feb. 24, at 10 a.m.

Anyone on the Texas Water Board will tell you that water per barrel easily matches the cost of oil -- in some cases, it’s worth more. Water shortages are common around the world and the U.S., and even now in Texas, the latest drought monitor shows that 93% of our state is in some sort of drought, from abnormally dry to extreme:

from the US Drought Monitor

When we talk about fog around here, it’s usually in the sense of an advisory for dense fog which poses everything from an annoyance to a serious danger. Boaters and drivers know our fog issues all too well:

from ShrimpDiva on Click2pins

So imagine turning that fog into useable water. That is what fog harvesting is all about and it’s becoming more and more popular. A friend sent me this post just the other day of what’s going on in Big Sur, California:

from the Cloud Appreciation Society

From the Cloud Appreciation Society description: Mesh nets located so that fog drifts through them snag the tiny droplets, each much smaller than a human hair, and let them dribble down into a water collector along the base. The same process is used by tree species found in cloud forests that have evolved to harvest moisture using tiny hairs on their leaves. The small-scale fog collector shown here was situated on the coast of Big Sur, California, above the Bixby Bridge. It was installed by Professor Daniel Fernandez to measure the yields from fog in this region. Dr. Fernandez’s best yield from this 1m x 1m test net was 37 litres (10 gallons) of fresh water in a day – collected just from fog.

While this is obviously a small scale operation, there are larger operations going on across the world collecting more than 3,000 gallons of water per day! These are very effective and inexpensive for the right location. You can read a full report right here.

From the experimentation that Dr. Fernandez is doing, he estimates that as much as 6,600 gallons of water a day could be collected from fog in California alone. As so many areas continue to face water shortages, this is a serious idea to consider!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.