Mountain fog used to provide water

By | March 19, 2010

Mountain fog used to provide water

Professor Jana Olivier of Unisa’s environmental science department, left, and Alfred Nzo District Municipality mayor Gcinikhaya Mpumza during the launch of the fog-harvesting project at Cabazana Village near Mount Ayliff yesterday. In the background are the nets that trap fog and turn it into water. Picture: LULAMILE FENI

A WATER-stressed rural community of Mount Ayliff in Transkei has been given some relief with water made from fog.

The project, which was made possible by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality and University of South Africa climatologist, professor Jana Olivier, has already yielded positive results.

More than 30 households in Cabazana Village in Mount Ayliff have already tasted the water from the fog-harvesting project, where it was launched this week.

The project was launched in the Nolangeni Mountains on the boundaries of KwaZulu-Natal.

“I have been doing research on fog for 20 years. My work at first was focused on fog as a health hazard to vehicles and what fog is and where it forms.

“Then we started doing research on fog harvesting. We got funding from the Water Research Commission…then we designed the fog water system,” Olivier said.

Olivier said they have made nets out of stainless steel and a gutter to trap the fog.

The nets are installed against a mountain where fog is prevalent.

The droplets of fog which consist of water are trapped on the surface.

As the fog moves the droplets are deposited on the net where they get heavier and then run down and drip into the gutter, then straight into tanks.

“We put the system high up against the mountain where there is lots of fog and also where the water is just gravity-fed down, so you don’t need electricity,” Olivier said.

She said the Cabazana system had about 700² metres of netting.

“We estimate that we should get on average about five litres of water per square metre per day,” she said.

She said this was also dependent on the weather and how much fog was present.

“It’s an absolute simple system; we are just doing what nature is doing,” she said.

Olivier said the water was safe for consumption.

“It’s of incredible pure quality because it comes from the clouds; fantastic and ideal water quality,” she said. …

via Daily Dispatch Online.

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