, 61:203 | Cite as

Fog harvesting: An alternative source of water supply on the West Coast of South Africa

  • Jana Olivier


Experiments conducted during the 1990s investigated the feasibility of using fog water to supplement existing water supplies in the arid west coast region of South Africa. Based on these results, a project was initiated aimed at implementing an operational fog water collection system to provide potable water to a small, water-poor rural community. A 70 m2 fog water collector was subsequently erected on the crest of the hill located next to the mission station called Lepelfontein. The volume of water collected was measured by means of a water flow meter and a tipping bucket. An automatic weather station recorded rainfall, wind speed and direction. The data record spans the period September 1999–August 2001. This paper gives a brief overview of the methods used to select the experimental site and describes the design of the fog water collection system. This is followed by a detailed account of the water yields, the contribution of fog and rainfall to the total yield, the characteristics of wet events, the factors associated with water collection and water quality. On average, yields of around 4.6 l of water were collected per square metre of collecting surface per day with maximum daily yields approaching 4000 l. The quality of the water was excellent. It thus appears that fog water collection may have considerable potential as an alternative water source at many other locations on the west coast of South Africa.

fog fog water collection rural water provision South Africa unconventional water sources West Coast fog 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Olivier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of South Africa , UNISA, P. O. BoxSouth Africa (

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