Innovation That Matters

Communities in arid regions gather potable water from fog


Germany and Morocco partnered to perfect a water gathering technique that uses fog to produce enough drinkable water to support multiple villages.

A partnership between Morocco’s Dar Si Hmad non-profit and Germany’s The Water Foundation and Aqualonis, the award-winning CloudFisher water gathering project is now being expanded to help other communities. Located on Mount Boutmezguida in the pre-Saharan Atlas Mountains, CloudFisher nets gather water from the frequent heavy fogs and funnel it into storage tanks and pipelines that provide clean drinking water directly to homes.

The current iteration of the nets and structures have been years in the making and are able to withstand winds of up to 120 miles per hour. The project has been particularly successful in helping the women and children of the region save time (multiple hours per day used to be spent gathering water) and preserve local cultures. Droughts have been increasing in recent years, forcing many of the subsistence farmers to sell their cattle and move elsewhere. As a result, the local language and culture was in decline. Now, the CloudFisher project has proven to be so successful that it is expanding into a total of 13 villages on the mountain and has spawned an observatory and a school.

Water scarcity is becoming increasingly disruptive, as communities and families fracture in the fight to survive. Hardworking solutions are necessary to make the most of extremely limited resources. Architects have found a way to gather minute amounts of rain for cooking and cleaning that also uses the water to cool homes. And a new solar panel design gathers moisture and transforms it into drinking water available directly from an integrated tap. How could renewable energy supplies be combined for ever more sustainable solutions?




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