The Nepal Agricultural Cooperative Central Federation Ltd. (NACCFL) is currently working in collaboration with the Chainpur Small Farmers Agricultural Cooperative Ltd. (SFACL) to find new sources of drinking water supplies for residents of the Chainpur Village Municipality in Dhading District. The community has traditionally relied on small springs emerging at the foothill of the upland forested areas but these went dry, however, after the April of 2015 earthquake, probably due to the fault lines that were created and which tunneled the available water supplies directly into the ground. The community had then to resort to bottle water supplies until they built an emergency supply line diverting water from a larger spring situated more than two kilometres away. In May of 2017, the community switched back to provisioning themselves from the local springs as these had recently started flowing back again. The flows have although been very variable and of low quality ever since.
NACCFL and the Chainpur SFACL recently launched a fog water collection study pilot project to assess the possibility of using fog water collection to expand the supplies in this water scarce community. Two Standard Fog Collectors (SFCs) of 1 m2 were installed to measure the fog collection potential in two strategically selected sites over a one-year period. The aim of this future project would be to build three or four Large Fog Collectors (LFCs) for a total surface area of up to 200 m2. So far, results from the SFCs indicate that collection rates of 5 to 6 litres a day would be easily reached for the four continuous months of the fog season there. At these rates, we would expect to increase the water supplies for the community by 120,000 to 144,000 litres a year. This project would target 50 households, thus improving water security for approximately 200 people.
FogQuest provided some initial project guidance, advice related to the construction and installation of the SFCs, as well as the Raschel mesh that was used in the fog collectors. We will also help to evaluate the SFC data that are being collected by Laurent-Charles Tremblay Levesque of CECI. Below are photographs of the two SFC installations, the geographic location, and the shop where the SFCs were constructed.
FogQuest is providing technical and material assistance to a team from Engineers Without Borders (student chapter, University of Colorado) who will set up four SFC’s in the Kalinchowk region on Nepal, an area that was badly damaged by the earthquakes of two years ago and is in need of water.
The Canadian NGO, Nepal Community Development Foundation is also assisting. A small team will depart from the U.S. this month and will spend two months in the region. We will post any updates and news we receive on our web site and in further editions of our newsletter.
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
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.
Fog Collection | Rainwater Collection | Rural Water Projects