Cloud or fog harvesting refers to the collection of water droplets using a net or canvas that forces the air to condense and turn into pure, drinkable water. The water vapour that makes up these formations condenses at a much faster rate than it evaporates, by placing an artificial cold surface in the atmosphere, this creates a barrier that causes the water vapour to change into water droplets or dew.
The collection of water vapour whether natural or artificial is an ancient process used by both people and animals, for example medieval dew ponds were created in England for the purpose of collecting dew in order to provide constant water access for the purpose of washing clothes, soaking cart wheels and as a water hole for farm animals. These dew ponds still exist throughout the country, however they now serve no purpose.
In modern times this form of water collection has been adapted to be more efficient. During the 1980′s the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) developed large fog collection systems on Mount Sutton in Quebec made from large pieces of canvas held tight between two wooden poles and underneath was a trough to capture the water droplets. Since them similar systems have been created around the world to provide pure drinking water to communities.
PHOG is a recent company that has been set up with the intention of collecting the purest water for communities in need. The group of young founders set up a ‘pilot site’ on Saint Vincent in the Grenadines, situated on the volcano La Soufriere. Here they placed polyurethane nets, in order to capture the fog. This test was a success, they collected a high amount of water droplets, much more than they anticipated. From this they wanted to extend the project and make it more sustainable. PHOG set out to raise $10,000 to make this happen and within the space of two months made $10,481.
The purpose of the fund raising was to create a sustainable and ecologically friends water source that is reliable and easily accessible. This process needs no additives as if is of the purest form, meaning that fresh water in less economically developed countries could become normal and easy. PHOG pride themselves on being an honest organisation, that want to benefit the community, simply taking the earths resources and using them for the good. If successful, this could spread worldwide and positively impact societies. ”By sharing our knowledge and resources related to cloud and fog harvesting and inviting people around the world to be a part of the solution.”
“Water access and distribution is one of the primary challenges facing the world today, and we are committed to doing our part to address it. We are dedicated to creating clean water communities with people just like you, by sharing our knowledge and resources related to cloud and fog harvesting and inviting people around the world to be a part of the solution.” (http://phogwater.com/#mission)
How things stand at the moment, the main source of the worlds water for drinking and agriculture is from ground water. However, this method of pumping water from aquifers uses up a large amount of energy and can lead to groundwater depletion and a decline in long-term water levels. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, groundwater depletion can lead to issues with wells drying up, a decline in water quality, a reduction in surface water levels and further increased costs for pumping. Even surface water sources like rivers and lakes are susceptible to all sorts of contamination.
So the majority of the world uses groundwater as drinking water, however, this uses valuable energy, time and money.