Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 235–249

Fog water as an alternative and sustainable water resource

  • Jeremy K. Domen
  • William T. Stringfellow
  • Mary Kay Camarillo
  • Shelly Gulati
Review

Abstract

As the world’s population and demand for fresh water increases, new water resources are needed. One commonly overlooked aspect of the water cycle is fog, which is an important part of the hydrology of coastal, high-altitude, and forested regions. Fog water harvesting is being investigated as a sustainable alternative water resource for drinking water and reforestation. Fog water harvesting involves using mesh nets to collect water as fog passes through them. The materials of these nets, along with environmental factors such as wind speed, influence the volume of water collected. In this article, a review of current models for fog collection, designs, and applications of fog water harvesting is provided. Aspects of fog water harvesting requiring further research and development are identified. In regions with frequent fog events, fog water harvesting is a sustainable drinking water resource for rural communities with low per capita water usage. However, an analysis of fog water harvesting potential for the coastal areas of northern California (USA) showed that fog yields are too small for use as domestic water in areas with higher household water demands. Fog water shows particular promise for application in reforestation. Fog water irrigation can increase growth rates and survivability of saplings in reforestation efforts in regions with frequent fog events. Using fog collectors, denuded areas once dependent on natural fog drip can be restored, benefiting local hydrology and ecosystem recovery. Improvement in fog collector designs, materials, and models to increase collection efficiency, perhaps by inclusion of ideas from natural systems, will expand the regions where fog harvesting can be applied.

Keywords

Fog water harvesting Reforestation Sustainable water resource 

Abbreviations

SFC

Standard fog collector

ACE

Aerodynamic collector efficiency

List of symbols

q

Rate of water collection (L h−1)

w

Water content of air (g m−3)

A

Cross-sectional area of fog collector mesh (m2)

V

Wind speed (m s−1)

ηimp

Efficiency due to impaction

Stk

Stokes number

σ

Water surface tension (N m−1)

ρ

Density of water (kg m−3)

D

Droplet diameter (m)

g

Gravitational constant (m s−2)

D

Diameter of attached surface (m)

Fw

Fog water volume (L)

fc

Fog collector efficiency

FPI

Fog potential index

f(H)

Relative humidity function

f(W)

Wind speed function

T

Ambient dry temperature (°C)

Td

Dew point temperature (°C)

e

Vapor pressure, millibar

es

Saturated water vapor pressure (millibar)

RH

Relative humidity (%)

ηcoll

Aerodynamic collection efficiency

ηAC

Proportion of drops that will collide if unperturbed

ηcapt

Proportion of drops that actually collide

ηdr

Proportion of water that reaches the trough

s

Shade coefficient

Cd

Drag coefficient of non-permeable screen

C0

Pressure loss coefficient of mesh

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy K. Domen
    • 1
  • William T. Stringfellow
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mary Kay Camarillo
    • 1
  • Shelly Gulati
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecological Engineering Research ProgramSchool of Engineering and Computer Science, University of the PacificStocktonUSA
  2. 2.Earth Sciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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