It is a sustainable alternative to capture water. It would be useful in rural areas with water shortages in the region of Arica and Parinacota (Chile). Researchers developed a pilot project to obtain the liquid from the camanchaca. This is a type of fog peculiar to the coasts of the extreme north of Chile. The water squeezed from the fog is a solution to the drought.
Quebrada de Camarones is about 1,986 kilometers north of Santiago. Water availability is reduced to 2,000 liters of water per person per week. They are delivered in tanker trucks. This project was developed there. It is entitled Social technology transfer based on fog water harvesting for lagging areas: A fog catcher pilot.. Proposes to obtain water from the fog off the coast of Arica and Parinacota, known as camanchaca.
They are directed by the archaeologist of the Instituto de Alta Investigación of the Universidad de Tarapacá Calogero Santoro Vargas. The project involves technology transfer to the communities of Cuya, Caleta Camarones and the town of Camarones. They will be trained in water capture using this system. Santoro explained that in northern Chile there are hundreds of kilometers without any water springs or valleys. In the high part of the mountain range there are rocks that during the night and part of the day are covered by camanchaca.
“Those rocks get wet,” explained the interviewee. And in that area “remains of ceramic sherds were found. They indicate a use of that water, condensed in the rock, for human use”.
Catching the water
“We applied for this Competitiveness Innovation Fund (FIC) project. It is possible to use this water to satisfy a specific problem of a particular community.” A weather station that measures temperature and wind speed will be installed. And also a fog catcher, which is a one-square-meter mesh that collects condensed water. It has a marker that indicates how much is captured per day. The water squeezed out of the fog will be used for the crops.
“It is a possible alternative to solve the serious water problem we have. Not only in northern Chile, but in the whole country,” Santoro said.