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Fog catching nets: innovative system to produce water in the desert

Fog catching nets: innovative system to produce water in the desert

With our Fog Catching Nets, we capture water and can irrigate where there is no water.

The woven nets (Fog Catching Nets) are a simple and cost-effective system to extract water from mist and clouds. The need for water has driven us to explore new and innovative techniques. For thousands of years, in areas where water is scarce, local populations have used techniques to collect and distribute water from dew or vapor. The first to exploit it were the people of Latin America, especially in Chile, where the narrow desert areas between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes have always suffered from drought. It probably began in the forests, and over time, various collection systems were developed. They are currently mainly use in arid and coastal areas, with the most common technique using plastic nets.

Fog nets simple system to remove water from the fog
The fog screen is a simple system for removing water from fog.

How do fog catching nets work?

When a cloud arrives and hits the net, the particles transform into droplets that are collect with simple pipe systems. Depending on the type of cloud, if it’s heavily load, more or less water is obtain. In places where the soil is arid, it’s possible to harness the moisture from the air carried by dense fog.

The moisture passing through the net and condensing turns into water that is channeled and stored in tanks. The storage types vary according to the rainfall of the collection area and the use of the collected water. The water is considered pure enough to drink. However, it is generally use for irrigating fields.

This way, desert areas have been turned into vital areas for agriculture and trade. In fact, the fog catching nets system has been very successful in installations in Chile at about 600 meters above sea level. The water settles every 100 meters in ponds and filters down to be use in aloe vera fields. In the Andes, the water obtained thanks to the fog catching nets is even transport by tanker trucks and used on a large scale.

Fog and water collection netting is easy to install by simply tensioning and tying it to a bracket
It is easy to install the mist netting, just tighten it well and tie it to a suitable support.

How much water can the Fog Catching Nets produce?

According to studies by FogQuest, every cubic meter of fog can contain up to 0.5 grams of water. Consequently, the yield of the fog catching nets ranges from 2 to 10 [L/m²day] in windy areas. With highly efficient systems, up to 84 l/m2/day can be expect. Depending on the surface area of the collector, more than 500 liters of water can be produce in a day. For example, in Chile, thanks to dense fog coming from the Pacific, called “camanchaca”, 7 liters per day per square meter are reach. Chilean researchers have estimated that if only 4% of the water contain in the fog could be capture, it would be enough to meet the water needs of the four northernmost regions of the country, including the entire Atacama Desert area.

OBAMALLA® woven mesh the amount of water will depend on the place where it is located.
The amount of water will depend on the location of the collector and the performance of the OBAMALLA® raschel meshes.

Where to install the Fog Catching Nets to capture fog?

The best places to capture fog water are above 1,000 meters in altitude with winds between 25 and 35 kilometers per hour. In the case of fog, which is a cloud with low water concentration, there are between 50 and a hundred droplets in a cubic centimeter.

In Chile, the fog is very intense at an altitude of 600 to 800 meters. This happens because there is a collision between moist and warm air with cold currents, causing condensation. However, it doesn’t rain because clouds don’t form, and the climate is desert-like.

On the sides of the Andes mountain range, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest areas in the world, but a lot of fog forms on the coast. Carlos Espinosa Arancibia, a physicist from the University of Chile, invented the first system aimed at “capturing water contained in fogs”.

Another example is the Namib Desert in western Africa where there is fog almost 200 days a year. Especially for isolated villages and rural areas, the water collection system through nets avoids long daily journeys often under adverse conditions. Also, in southern Spain, in Tenerife and Lanzarote, they are facing the problem of water scarcity thanks to the raschel OBAMALLA® nets. Bottled water derived from fogs is produce in Gran Canaria. Currently, there are projects in various desert areas of Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nepal, and African countries (Cape Verde, Eritrea, South Africa, Yemen, Oman, Ethiopia, Israel).

field with mist net
Depending on the surface area of the collector, it is possible to produce more than 500 liters of water in a day, depending on the surface area of the collector.

Fog Collecting Net

The recommended fog-catching net to capture the microscopic droplets contained in the fog is OBAMALLA. This polypropylene net traps the moisture suspended in the air and causes its condensation. The droplets slide on the surface of the tensioned net to storage tanks. Natural condensation is the basis for converting vapor in the atmosphere into water droplets.

Fog Catching Nets
In order to capture a large amount of water, it is necessary to have a good altitude.

What does a flat collector consist of?

A “fog hunter” attracts moisture, traps it, and causes the water droplets suspended in the air to join together. The fog catching nets are made of high-quality polypropylene monofilaments, tear-resistant. They are attach to frames approximately 6 meters long by 4 meters high. Below this structure runs a gutter, and a tank is install. They are usually install in high parts expose to fog. There are also three-dimensional structures formed by multiple overlapping layers of nets. Thanks to their three-dimensionality, they are more stable structures that offer a larger surface area in less space. In areas with strong winds, the nets are equip with pulley systems to easily collect and protect them.

OBAMALLA® Fog Catching Net for water capture

The OBAMALLA® nets are use for rainwater collection for drinking and cooking, especially in areas lacking municipal infrastructure. The ideal nets for this function are the 88% raschel OBAMALLA® nets, weighing 90gr/m². They also exploit long rainy seasons. In areas where there is a shortage of rivers and springs, rainwater collection systems are need to ensure drinking water. From the collection systems, the water is channeled until it is stored in tanks.

Fog Catching Nets
The OBAMALLA® fog screen is made of high quality material.

The main advantage of having an OBAMALLA® Fog Catching Net system to catch fog and water

is the availability of water for various daily activities where purification is not require (toilet flushing, washing, irrigation, etc.), especially where the water supply system doesn’t reach and where natural resources need to be protect. Besides agricultural use, the Fog Catching Net system is very useful in reforestation projects and preventive fire control.

Sustainable water resource

Fog water collection allows obtaining additional water sustainably. The need for clean freshwater is a priority for humanity and will become more critical as demand and pollution of natural resources grow.

According to reports from the United Nations, the lack of drinking water is the main cause of death worldwide. By 2030, its availability will decrease by 40%. For the WHO, two billion people only have access to contaminated water. It is clear that water harvesting techniques are very important, especially for developing countries.

Thanks to fog water harvesting systems, significant benefits can be obtain with minimal investment. Fog is compose of tiny water droplets that remain suspended in the atmosphere. It is a common phenomenon in coastal areas, especially at altitude and on islands. Fog-catching nets are successfully use as fog capture methods since they allow fog to pass while stopping the water particles contained in it. Since pre-Hispanic times, in Mexico, various types of nets woven from different materials were use. An example is the tule nets.

mist and water collection system
With the help of the woven mist-trapping netting, it captures the water from the mist and allows additional water to be obtained in a sustainable way.

Fog water collection systems

Fog water collection systems consist of a polypropylene net. Supports for the structure, preferably made of stainless steel rods resistant to moisture. However, wooden or galvanized steel rods can also be use. The structure must allow lifting and tensioning the net and resist winds.

Gutters collecting water, a tank, and horizontal and vertical tension cables are needed. The fog in the atmosphere is deposit on the net, and once it reaches a certain weight, thanks to gravity. It turns into water droplets that travel through the net until they reach the frame where they are collect. Before installation, it is advisable to measure fog forecasts to determine the most profitable location. An example of suitable installation uses plastic nets four meters high and ten meters wide.

OBAMALLA® fog collector

The wind drives the moist fog towards the nets where it condenses on the net, and the water is collect at the bottom edge of the net and then guided through a drainage system. OBAMALLA® is ideal for building fog water collectors because it withstands many years of all types of weather conditions, even enduring significant storms. The net’s openings allow capturing the small water droplets from the fog.

These droplets accumulate on the net, forming larger droplets that eventually converge into a gutter. The small droplets easily slide into the collection channel as soon as they form, before the wind sweeps them off the surface and carries them back into the fog flow. OBAMALLA® lets light through and consequently allows fog circulation; it is made of very resistant material, allowing water condensation without altering its properties. These installations are not very expensive and represent a water supply alternative in arid areas.

OBAMALLA® water collection system is very resistant as it does not rust with water and withstands strong winds.
The OBAMALLA® mesh is very resistant as it does not rust with water and withstands strong winds.

Efficient fog water collection systems for greater water supply thanks to nets made of plastic materials, easy to obtain, and low cost.

In the Atacama Desert, many villages use plastic mesh panels to capture moisture. In Peru, these systems meet the water needs of thousands of people. Although the collected water is often not potable, it undergoes a simple purification process or is use for irrigation or domestic use. A team of American researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing increasingly efficient systems to extract water from fog and collect potable water. These findings not only benefit areas of the world with scarce resources, being much cheaper than other solutions. They also offer numerous environmental benefits that are interesting for the Western world. For example, they could reduce CO2 emissions and costs associated with transporting water over long distances. The next step could be to leverage common-use structures.

Fog Catching Nets OBAMALLA
When wind and fog flows are present, the mesh can be implemented to capture fog and water.

Multi-use idea of the net on a house roof

  • Plastic nets can have as many applications as our imagination allows. For example, a tensioned net structure could be place, supported by an aluminum frame equipped with a small motor for a 90° rotation. When the frame is perpendicular to the ground (at night), the collector is ready to collect humid air, fog, and dew. When it is parallel to the ground (during the day), the structure shades the house and protects it from heat. One or more collectors can be install on a house’s roof. The collected water passes through the gutter, is filtered, and directed to the tank. It can be use to water the garden and orchard, wash the car, among other activities.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

With our Fog Catching Nets, we capture water and can irrigate where there is no water.

The woven nets (Fog Catching Nets) are a simple and cost-effective system to extract water from mist and clouds. The need for water has driven us to explore new and innovative techniques. For thousands of years, in areas where water is scarce, local populations have used techniques to collect and distribute water from dew or vapor. The first to exploit it were the people of Latin America, especially in Chile, where the narrow desert areas between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes have always suffered from drought. It probably began in the forests, and over time, various collection systems were developed. They are currently mainly use in arid and coastal areas, with the most common technique using plastic nets.

Fog nets simple system to remove water from the fog
The fog screen is a simple system for removing water from fog.

How do fog catching nets work?

When a cloud arrives and hits the net, the particles transform into droplets that are collect with simple pipe systems. Depending on the type of cloud, if it’s heavily load, more or less water is obtain. In places where the soil is arid, it’s possible to harness the moisture from the air carried by dense fog.

The moisture passing through the net and condensing turns into water that is channeled and stored in tanks. The storage types vary according to the rainfall of the collection area and the use of the collected water. The water is considered pure enough to drink. However, it is generally use for irrigating fields.

This way, desert areas have been turned into vital areas for agriculture and trade. In fact, the fog catching nets system has been very successful in installations in Chile at about 600 meters above sea level. The water settles every 100 meters in ponds and filters down to be use in aloe vera fields. In the Andes, the water obtained thanks to the fog catching nets is even transport by tanker trucks and used on a large scale.

Fog and water collection netting is easy to install by simply tensioning and tying it to a bracket
It is easy to install the mist netting, just tighten it well and tie it to a suitable support.

How much water can the Fog Catching Nets produce?

According to studies by FogQuest, every cubic meter of fog can contain up to 0.5 grams of water. Consequently, the yield of the fog catching nets ranges from 2 to 10 [L/m²day] in windy areas. With highly efficient systems, up to 84 l/m2/day can be expect. Depending on the surface area of the collector, more than 500 liters of water can be produce in a day. For example, in Chile, thanks to dense fog coming from the Pacific, called “camanchaca”, 7 liters per day per square meter are reach. Chilean researchers have estimated that if only 4% of the water contain in the fog could be capture, it would be enough to meet the water needs of the four northernmost regions of the country, including the entire Atacama Desert area.

OBAMALLA® woven mesh the amount of water will depend on the place where it is located.
The amount of water will depend on the location of the collector and the performance of the OBAMALLA® raschel meshes.

Where to install the Fog Catching Nets to capture fog?

The best places to capture fog water are above 1,000 meters in altitude with winds between 25 and 35 kilometers per hour. In the case of fog, which is a cloud with low water concentration, there are between 50 and a hundred droplets in a cubic centimeter.

In Chile, the fog is very intense at an altitude of 600 to 800 meters. This happens because there is a collision between moist and warm air with cold currents, causing condensation. However, it doesn’t rain because clouds don’t form, and the climate is desert-like.

On the sides of the Andes mountain range, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest areas in the world, but a lot of fog forms on the coast. Carlos Espinosa Arancibia, a physicist from the University of Chile, invented the first system aimed at “capturing water contained in fogs”.

Another example is the Namib Desert in western Africa where there is fog almost 200 days a year. Especially for isolated villages and rural areas, the water collection system through nets avoids long daily journeys often under adverse conditions. Also, in southern Spain, in Tenerife and Lanzarote, they are facing the problem of water scarcity thanks to the raschel OBAMALLA® nets. Bottled water derived from fogs is produce in Gran Canaria. Currently, there are projects in various desert areas of Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nepal, and African countries (Cape Verde, Eritrea, South Africa, Yemen, Oman, Ethiopia, Israel).

field with mist net
Depending on the surface area of the collector, it is possible to produce more than 500 liters of water in a day, depending on the surface area of the collector.

Fog Collecting Net

The recommended fog-catching net to capture the microscopic droplets contained in the fog is OBAMALLA. This polypropylene net traps the moisture suspended in the air and causes its condensation. The droplets slide on the surface of the tensioned net to storage tanks. Natural condensation is the basis for converting vapor in the atmosphere into water droplets.

Fog Catching Nets
In order to capture a large amount of water, it is necessary to have a good altitude.

What does a flat collector consist of?

A “fog hunter” attracts moisture, traps it, and causes the water droplets suspended in the air to join together. The fog catching nets are made of high-quality polypropylene monofilaments, tear-resistant. They are attach to frames approximately 6 meters long by 4 meters high. Below this structure runs a gutter, and a tank is install. They are usually install in high parts expose to fog. There are also three-dimensional structures formed by multiple overlapping layers of nets. Thanks to their three-dimensionality, they are more stable structures that offer a larger surface area in less space. In areas with strong winds, the nets are equip with pulley systems to easily collect and protect them.

OBAMALLA® Fog Catching Net for water capture

The OBAMALLA® nets are use for rainwater collection for drinking and cooking, especially in areas lacking municipal infrastructure. The ideal nets for this function are the 88% raschel OBAMALLA® nets, weighing 90gr/m². They also exploit long rainy seasons. In areas where there is a shortage of rivers and springs, rainwater collection systems are need to ensure drinking water. From the collection systems, the water is channeled until it is stored in tanks.

Fog Catching Nets
The OBAMALLA® fog screen is made of high quality material.

The main advantage of having an OBAMALLA® Fog Catching Net system to catch fog and water

is the availability of water for various daily activities where purification is not require (toilet flushing, washing, irrigation, etc.), especially where the water supply system doesn’t reach and where natural resources need to be protect. Besides agricultural use, the Fog Catching Net system is very useful in reforestation projects and preventive fire control.

Sustainable water resource

Fog water collection allows obtaining additional water sustainably. The need for clean freshwater is a priority for humanity and will become more critical as demand and pollution of natural resources grow.

According to reports from the United Nations, the lack of drinking water is the main cause of death worldwide. By 2030, its availability will decrease by 40%. For the WHO, two billion people only have access to contaminated water. It is clear that water harvesting techniques are very important, especially for developing countries.

Thanks to fog water harvesting systems, significant benefits can be obtain with minimal investment. Fog is compose of tiny water droplets that remain suspended in the atmosphere. It is a common phenomenon in coastal areas, especially at altitude and on islands. Fog-catching nets are successfully use as fog capture methods since they allow fog to pass while stopping the water particles contained in it. Since pre-Hispanic times, in Mexico, various types of nets woven from different materials were use. An example is the tule nets.

mist and water collection system
With the help of the woven mist-trapping netting, it captures the water from the mist and allows additional water to be obtained in a sustainable way.

Fog water collection systems

Fog water collection systems consist of a polypropylene net. Supports for the structure, preferably made of stainless steel rods resistant to moisture. However, wooden or galvanized steel rods can also be use. The structure must allow lifting and tensioning the net and resist winds.

Gutters collecting water, a tank, and horizontal and vertical tension cables are needed. The fog in the atmosphere is deposit on the net, and once it reaches a certain weight, thanks to gravity. It turns into water droplets that travel through the net until they reach the frame where they are collect. Before installation, it is advisable to measure fog forecasts to determine the most profitable location. An example of suitable installation uses plastic nets four meters high and ten meters wide.

OBAMALLA® fog collector

The wind drives the moist fog towards the nets where it condenses on the net, and the water is collect at the bottom edge of the net and then guided through a drainage system. OBAMALLA® is ideal for building fog water collectors because it withstands many years of all types of weather conditions, even enduring significant storms. The net’s openings allow capturing the small water droplets from the fog.

These droplets accumulate on the net, forming larger droplets that eventually converge into a gutter. The small droplets easily slide into the collection channel as soon as they form, before the wind sweeps them off the surface and carries them back into the fog flow. OBAMALLA® lets light through and consequently allows fog circulation; it is made of very resistant material, allowing water condensation without altering its properties. These installations are not very expensive and represent a water supply alternative in arid areas.

OBAMALLA® water collection system is very resistant as it does not rust with water and withstands strong winds.
The OBAMALLA® mesh is very resistant as it does not rust with water and withstands strong winds.

Efficient fog water collection systems for greater water supply thanks to nets made of plastic materials, easy to obtain, and low cost.

In the Atacama Desert, many villages use plastic mesh panels to capture moisture. In Peru, these systems meet the water needs of thousands of people. Although the collected water is often not potable, it undergoes a simple purification process or is use for irrigation or domestic use. A team of American researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing increasingly efficient systems to extract water from fog and collect potable water. These findings not only benefit areas of the world with scarce resources, being much cheaper than other solutions. They also offer numerous environmental benefits that are interesting for the Western world. For example, they could reduce CO2 emissions and costs associated with transporting water over long distances. The next step could be to leverage common-use structures.

Fog Catching Nets OBAMALLA
When wind and fog flows are present, the mesh can be implemented to capture fog and water.

Multi-use idea of the net on a house roof

  • Plastic nets can have as many applications as our imagination allows. For example, a tensioned net structure could be place, supported by an aluminum frame equipped with a small motor for a 90° rotation. When the frame is perpendicular to the ground (at night), the collector is ready to collect humid air, fog, and dew. When it is parallel to the ground (during the day), the structure shades the house and protects it from heat. One or more collectors can be install on a house’s roof. The collected water passes through the gutter, is filtered, and directed to the tank. It can be use to water the garden and orchard, wash the car, among other activities.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

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