Peru Agriculture Ministry to extract freshwater from fog for irrigation

Peru’s Agriculture Ministry will install 100 “fog catchers” along Lima’s coast to extract freshwater from fog and use it for irrigation purposes, reported daily Peru21.

Because of unreliable and low rainfall, Peru’s coastal agricultural boom is completely reliant during the dry season on woefully inadequate irrigation infrastructure that draws water from increasingly hard-to-reach aquifers, and reservoirs in the Andes.

But low-cost technology could potentially remedy the situation.

“Fog catchers” are designed to collect water from fog. In several coastal and mountainous locations around the world, residents have set up large “fog catchers” to harness hundreds, or even thousands of liters of water per day.

In Lima, fog arising from the ocean drapes over Peru’s coastline from June to November. The water trapped by the “fog catchers” will be used to supply drip irrigation systems.

Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro-irrigation, is a watering method that minimizes the use of water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the extracted water will allow the irrigation of some 5,000 rubber plant, palm and bougainvillea groves, all of which have been planted on the cliffsides of Lima’s coastline, to prevent soil erosion.

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