FogQuest volunteer Nicolas Zanetta, recently returned from Nicaragua and Guatemala where he installed SFC’s in both countries. Here are some images from that trip – a full report will be posted here soon.
Below are a few news items that we’ve sent out on our newsletter and posted on our Facebook page over the past few months.
7th International Conference on Fog,
Fog Collection, and Dew
Wroclaw, Poland 24 to 29 July, 2016
A very successful conference was held this summer in Poland, with about 125 delegates from about 30 countries attending. This is the seventh in a conference series that was started by Dr. Robert Schemenauer, the Executive Director of FogQuest, in 1998. The conference is not operated or sponsored by FogQuest but we endorse the efforts to enrich the knowledge base that can lead to successful uses of fog and dew as water supplies and to demonstrate to scientists working in the atmospheric sciences, as well as hydrology and related sciences, that there are important practical applications to their work.
Two papers were presented (see below) describing ongoing projects of FogQuest. One discussed the project in Tojquia, Guatemala from 2006 to 2016. The other discussed the fog collection projects in Nepal from 1997 to 2016. Dr. Robert Schemenauer attended the conference* as a representative of FogQuest and made a 15 minute presentation on the work in Nepal. Mr. Nicolas Zanetta from Chile represented both the Atacama Desert Center in Chile where he works and FogQuest where he is an important volunteer. Nicolas gave a one minute introduction to the work in Tojquia and interacted with the delegates at the associated poster paper.
The conference was a wonderful opportunity to exchange information and to meet colleagues from diverse backgrounds working in all parts of the world. It was also an opportunity to meet old friends. Pablo Osses went to Nepal almost 20 years ago to install the first small Standard Fog Collectors and to train local groups on the construction of Large Fog Collectors. He is now a Professor at the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. Nicolas Zanetta is a young man who brings experience and great enthusiasm to our present project in Guatemala and this week will go to our new evaluation project in Nicaragua.
(*Dr. Schemenauer paid personally for his travel to Poland for the conference and Mr. Zanetta’s funds came from other sources. No donations to FogQuest were used for travel.)
Conference Papers Available for Download
7th International Conference on Fog,
Fog Collection, and Dew
Wroclaw, Poland 24 to 29 July, 2016
The two conference papers presented on FogQuest work in Guatemala and in Nepal can be downloaded below. The entire conference proceedings volume is also available for download here.
2016 Schemenauer, R.S., B. Bignell and T. Makepeace: Fog Collection Projects in Nepal: 1997 to 2016. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, Wroclaw, Poland 24 – 29 July 2016, pp 187-190.
2016 Schemenauer, R.S., N. Zanetta, M. Rosato and V. Carter: The Tojquia, Guatemala Fog Collection Project 2006 to 2016. 7th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, Wroclaw, Poland 24 – 29 July 2016, pp 210-213.
Broadview Avenue Public School
FogQuest received a very generous donation from the Broadview Avenue Public School located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The school put on a fundraising event earlier in the year. The theme was clouds, fog and raindrops. Our thanks to a teacher, Ms. Darlene Morrow, who initiated the event and all of the students who worked so hard to raise the funds. We will use the donation to help with our ongoing project in Tojquia, Guatemala.
The Silauti SFC project has run for six months. The past three months have been very dry but cold weather and have reduced the overall yield to approximately 4.5 litres/meter/day as an average. The data has been split into wet and dry seasons and we can see that the winter, while there’s abundant fog, is not getting the yields that we were seeing in the transitional seasons and summer. Winter data is about 1 litre/day per square meter.
The monitoring equipment has not only been able to survive the location’s climate and conditions, it’s also been recording the data without incident over the past six months.
The data shows an average collection rate of 4 to 5 litres/meter/day. Placement of the collector and the presence of turbulence from the trees on the downward side of the ridge may be factors in the overall results.
The SFC has now been moved to a saddle ridge on the nearby military base for the next six months. This location is 2km from the temple at Silauti and we’re expecting to be able to compare results from the two locations over a full dry and wet season. The ridge is crisscrossed by alternating prevailing winds that bring large, dense banks of fog into the area. The altitude at the new location is similar to the temple at just under 2800m.
Our next newsletter will have more updates on this pilot project
The deadline date for submitting abstracts to the 7th International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection, and Dew has been moved to the end of January. For more information please go to http://fog-conf.meteo.uni.wroc.pl/ or visit the Conference section on our FogQuest website.
The manual provides detailed information on how to select a site for a fog collection project, information on involving communities, construction guidelines for both small and large fog collectors, as well as background information on scientific, meteorological and geographical factors relevant to the fog collection process.
The entire manual – or specific sections – may be printed in B&W or full colour.
We are very fortunate to have a new and vigorous young volunteer from Chile. Nicolás Zanetta Colombo, is a geographer from the Centro del Desierto de Aatacama of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He traveled to Guatemala to work at the FogQuest village fog-water collection project in Tojquia in early September.
His main tasks were to interact with the people of the village through group meetings and personal discussions in order to establish their views on the status of the water project and also to assist with some needed repairs to seven of the large fog collectors. The 35 LFCs have now been providing water for 10 years since their construction in 2006 and some of the mesh required replacement or repair. The LFCs produce an average of about 7000 L of fog water a day during the dry season when there is no rain. This water is provided directly to individual homes and farms.
The families remain very grateful to FogQuest for the project and one of the major benefits is the time saved by the families by not having to walk big distances looking for water in the dry season. There is a general motivation within the community to organize in order to maximize the benefits. After the meetings with Nicolás a water committee was organized and endorsed by the families in the village.
Their ideas on how to advance will be reported back to FogQuest and we will continue to work with them in the year to come. There are many social and technical tasks still to undertake but the village needs and the benefits of the water are both very real.
In order to determine how much water has been collected by a Standard Fog Collector, or indeed any fog collector, one needs a regular record of the water produced. The low cost way to do this is to have an observer measure the amount of water in a container each day. This has advantages and disadvantages. It is something that is discussed in our manual. In locations where it is safe to put instrumentation out with the SFC we have used various measurement techniques over the years. There is always a trade-off between performance and cost. We need low cost and durable data loggers.
Byron Bignell, who recently returned from Nepal (as noted below) the spent considerable time and effort developing a new data logging system. We are presently testing this in Nepal and in Kamloops, British Columbia. When we have some definitive results we will present them on this website and in our newsletter.
In May of this year FogQuest volunteer Byron Bignell returned to update a pilot project (2013) in the Ilam district of eastern Nepal. This was just after a series of earthquakes had resulted in widespread casualties and damage throughout the country.
The eastern district had been spared the worst tremors and experienced only minor damage. Thankfully this project was not damaged and is currently operational. Once the collection data have been retrieved and analyzed the decision whether to move forward with a larger system will be made.
An update to this project will be included in our next newsletter.
Wesley Dowling, from Wyoming in the USA, is working on a new project on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Wes did a training course with FogQuest run by Virginia Carter in Santiago Chile and he is using mesh provided by FogQuest.
His self directed and funded fog collection project will assist people in communities near where he has worked on other water projects over the years.
FogQuest work is carried out by volunteers, with no salaries. A number of people contribute many hours of their time and often contribute significantly financially as well. It is a challenge keeping a small charity operational for 15 years as we have done. What success we have had is in very large part due to our volunteers and to our supporters.
Harry Makepeace in Ontario Canada has been in charge of our shipments of mesh to all parts of the world for some time now. His help and expertise is often not visible to people who request and receive mesh for their fog collectors but it is an essential part of what we do.
Nicolas Zanetta from Chile is a young man with experience using fog collectors at the Atacama Desert Centre. FogQuest built a large fog collector there a number of years ago with help from a Rotary group in Canada. FogQuest of course has a long history of working at different projects in Chile. Nicolas will be travelling to our project in the Guatemala highlands in August to review the project there.