Fog-water collection for community use
Fog is a potential source of water that could be exploited using the innovative technology of fog collection. Naturally, the potential of fog has proven its significance in cloud forests that are thriving from fog interception. Historically, the remains of artificial structures in different countries prove that fog has been collected as an alternative and/or supplementary water source. In the beginning of the 19th century, fog collection was investigated as a potential natural resource. After the mid-1980s, following success in Chile, fog-water collection commenced in a number of developing countries. Most of these countries are located in arid and semi-arid regions with topographic and climatic conditions that favour fog-water collection. This paper reviews the technology of fog collection with initial background information on natural fog collection and its historical development. It reviews the climatic and topographic features that dictate fog formation (mainly advection and orographic) and the innovative technology to collect it, focusing on the amount collected, the quality of fog water, and the impact of the technology on the livelihoods of beneficiary communities. By and large, the technology described is simple, cost-effective, and energy-free. However, fog-water collection has disadvantages in that it is seasonal, localised, and the technology needs continual maintenance. Based on the experience in several countries, the sustainability of the technology could be guaranteed if technical, economic, social, and management factors are addressed during its planning and implementation.