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The Future of Reforestation and Fog-Collecting Technology

Due to population expansion, insufficient clean and fresh water resources, economic growth and societal change impacting human tastes, and climate change, freshwater supplies are becoming increasingly rare.

Water stress and scarcity affect one-third of the world's population, resulting in a lack of access to clean water. To safeguard the world's water sources, it is critical to study sustainable methods of collecting and distributing fresh water among people worldwide.

Fog Collecting to Improve Water Efficiency

Traditional water resources such as surface water in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs can be used to boost water usage efficiency and production in a variety of ways. These resources are inadequate to meet human needs. As a result, some unconventional water resources must be examined in order to close the gap between water demand and supply.

Fog is an underutilized source of clean water. Fog water harvesting necessitates a low-maintenance, low-cost, and passive method of obtaining clean drinking water in places with significant fog concentrations.

In dry areas, fog water can augment rainfall for tree planting. It can be life-saving in dry, isolated, and semiarid places with tropical or subtropical temperatures that are suffering from severe scarcity.

What Is the Process of Collecting Fog Water?

The mechanism for collecting fog water is simple. The wind blows the fog through the mesh that is exposed to the atmosphere. Upon collision, a fraction of the fog droplets are deposited on the mesh material.

Fog droplets aggregate, mix, and change into larger droplets before flowing into a storage tank through the mesh material's gutters. There are a variety of fog collector designs available, each with its unique mesh material, dimensions, and shape.

How Much Water Can Fog Collectors Collect?

The Standard Fog Collector (SFC) determines how much fog water can be collected at certain locations. Schemenauer and Cereceda went into considerable depth about how this flat mesh panel was made and used. The SFC is erected perpendicular to the direction of the wind and has a surface area of 1 m2 and a base elevation of 2 m. It has something to do with how often fog occurs.

The Large Fog Collector (LFC) has traditionally been used to collect fog. It operates on the same principles as SFC but is far larger in size. Typically, the mesh is 10 meters wide and 4 meters high. With the gutter attached, the mesh's lowest edge should be as high off the ground as possible (typically 2 m), as this results in higher fog gathering.

The SFC design mesh is stretched over a sturdy frame. The mesh in the case of LFC is supported by a cable framework that is firmly coupled to two vertical poles.

Water collects on the mesh and drips downhill into drainage at the bottom of the net, which is piped to a reservoir or tank. Between 300 and 1,000 liters of water are typically produced each day from a fog collector, with daily and seasonal variations. Collection effectiveness is increased by larger fog droplets, quicker wind speeds, and smaller collecting fibers/mesh width.

The Benefits of Fog Collection

Fog water can be used to make clean drinking water as well as water for reforestation. It can also be utilized in the home and on the farm. Atmospheric water is pure, free of pathogenic bacteria, and suitable for immediate irrigation. Water collected with fog-collecting equipment meets World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

The installation and maintenance of the technology have a low environmental impact. Installation of fog harvesting technology can be done on-site if the required components and technical guidance are acquired.

Simple abilities are required for the building of the fog collector, and once completed, the system requires no energy to operate. Because mountainous locations, where people commonly reside in remote areas, are particularly well-suited for fog harvesting, capital investment and other costs are typically low.

Reforestation is Required for Improved Fog Collection

Deforestation has had a significant impact on the natural fog cycle. Because trees can capture fog water that seeps down to their roots, they can be self-sufficient in an ecosystem. Because of ongoing deforestation, fewer trees are available to catch fog water.

Climate change and dry seasons are being caused by deforestation all across the planet. Because of changes in the natural hydrological cycle, the loss of ground-covering plants leads to parched, hot landscapes that are more prone to erosion. Disruptions to the fog cycle caused by deforestation can have long-term implications on surface water runoff and groundwater recharge.

Human intervention is essential for these areas to recover since new plant development is impossible without the increased water intake through fog drip that existing plants normally offer. Human intervention is required for the restoration of these regions' hydrological and ecological systems.

The newly planted trees will be able to withstand the fog drop and will function as natural fog collectors. When fog drip returns to a place, it helps to restore the local environment by replenishing groundwater and slowing erosion. In fog-prone areas, fog water can be used for reforestation and irrigation.

The Technological Advancements in Chile

Chilean Fog Collecting System

Advection fog forms in certain arid parts of Chile due to big surface clouds moving from the sea to the continent and being stopped by relief. The system consists of one or more fog traps and conduits that transport water to storage tanks. The fog catcher is made up of a mesh that intercepts the fog, a frame that keeps it stretched, gutters that collect the water that the mesh captures (in Chile, raschel mesh or 'kiwi' is used), and a supporting framework.

International Application

The approach has gained popularity in several parts of the world. The International Organization for Dew Utilization is developing foil-based effective condensers for locations where rain or fog cannot meet water needs all year. Shortly after the project's initial success, researchers from the organizations that were involved formed the nonprofit organization FogQuest, which has established operational centers in Yemen and central Chile, while others are being evaluated in Guatemala, Haiti, and Nepal, this time with a much greater emphasis on community involvement in the hopes that the projects will last for a long time. There are presently fog-gathering facilities in villages in 25 nations around the world. The methods have the potential to be utilized to establish thick flora on formerly arid land. It seems that the low-cost collectors are going to continue to thrive. There are also various attempts in Peru to install fog catchers, with varying degrees of success.

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