Got Water?
November 2, 2001 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Got Water? Fresh water is a necessity for human survival, but many areas of the world are starting to feel the crunch. One solution to this problem that has been applied in a few areas is collecting fresh water from fog (here's how!). This technology has been a boon to places like Chungungo, Chile. Now a small beetle from the Namib Desert may hold the key to making fog collection even more successful. Water attracting and repelling bumps and valleys on the beetle's wings collect and transport water from fog. Currently, QinetiQ is developing synthetic materials with these same properties, which may make the similar technique of dew collection even more feasible.
posted by iceberg273 (15 comments total)
for some years now I got my liquid from Mountain Dew
posted by Postroad at 11:00 AM on November 2, 2001

Of course, fog water contains all the lovely airborne contaminants found in the region it is collected.
posted by mathowie at 11:02 AM on November 2, 2001

Canada is the Saudi Arabia of fresh water-let's just take it over now
posted by quercus at 11:14 AM on November 2, 2001

Now if we can just perfect development of stilsuits ... er..ugh sorry, I think my geek is showing.
posted by willnot at 11:21 AM on November 2, 2001

I've seen those black nets, travelling around Chile, but never realised there were unusual or new. IIRC they're a fair way north of Santiago, up near La Serena, and the air is pretty clean (breezes come in from the Pacific, although they're only a stones throw away from the PanAmerican - not that it's exactly a huge multilane highway up there).
posted by andrew cooke at 11:30 AM on November 2, 2001

I always found a delightful absurdity in those plans to tow icebergs from the Arctic Ocean into Long Beach Harbor to provide freshwater for LA.

Fifties technophilia at it's best.
posted by jaek at 11:54 AM on November 2, 2001

Wonderful post, iceberg273! I'm a San Franciscan by birth and think that collecting water from fog makes good sense.
posted by Carol Anne at 12:02 PM on November 2, 2001

I'm a San Franciscan by birth and think that collecting water from fog makes good sense

Northern California gets plenty of water already though. It's the people down south that need it. And there is the problem of how to get it down there.
posted by mathowie at 12:18 PM on November 2, 2001

this is a brilliant technology
posted by billder at 12:19 PM on November 2, 2001

Of course in San Francisco if you ever walk around when it's foggy you notice that the ground under the trees is wet, even though it's dry elsewhere. So I think it's fair to say the trees invented the idea.

Ergo, all profits from this technology should go to coastal forest preservation. (Q.E.D.)
posted by mattpfeff at 12:37 PM on November 2, 2001

Great post!

Wouldn't really be applicable in LA -- that's not fog, it's exhaust. But then again, that's irrelevant. Americans would never implement such a technology, not when easy-to-use natural resources remain to be squandered.
posted by me3dia at 1:51 PM on November 2, 2001

I thought we all agreed that DHMO was dangerous?
posted by frednorman at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2001

Where does all that San Fran fog go? Im guessing up into the atmosphere as vapor and then settles as snow in the Sierras and comes back down in the spring into the Valley irrigation system (largest in the world) and on down to LA in some form or another.
posted by stbalbach at 7:07 PM on November 2, 2001

Aren't contraceptives really the best solution to water shortages? Less mouths, less thirst.
posted by phoenix enflamed at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2001

George Lucas should be credited for this idea; as I recall, looking after the moisture collectors was Luke's job on Owen & Beru's WATER FARM. :-)

posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:02 PM on November 3, 2001

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