Recently people living in the more rural areas of Peru have started to move to the capital, Lima, with the hope that they can find opportunities for a better life. However, finding a job in the city can be pretty brutal. Once they do find a job, they are usually positions such as bus driver, construction worker, or street vendor, all of which don’t pay much. On top of that, the most affordable places to live are on the outskirts of the city, way up high on steep hills. The living conditions in these areas are very poor, water is limited, and landslides are a common event. Safe to say, these people don’t have it easy.
Thankfully Kai Tiedemann and Anne Lummerich, two German conservationists and biologists, have come up with an innovative solution to help provide those living in the outskirts of Lima with clean drinking water. With an average annual precipitation of half an inch, this hilly region barely gets any rainfall. However, during their winter, from June to November, a dense fog from the Pacific Ocean rolls in. Taking advantage of these dense fogs, and looking at ways ancient villages in desert areas have survived off of collecting water, Tiedemann and Lummerich have invented and set up special nets that can harvest the water directly from the air during heaving a heavy fog.
Using fog collectors are relatively easy to set up and only require a few thousands of dollars, as well as some volunteer help by local villagers. With these fog nets, villages have been able to successfully captured hundreds of gallons of water a day. These fog nets aren’t practical on a large scale, but they are an example of an innovative solution to a problem that can devastate smaller, poorer communities.