In a brewery in Chile, water extracted from fog is added their beer, which gives the beer a ‘special quality’, reports BBC
The ‘Fog Catcher Brewery’ is small. It has three vats and one cold store producing about 24,000 litres per year, but it is the pride and joy of its owner, Miguel Carcuro. He said:
“The water collected from fog is of excellent quality and gives our beer a special quality. The fog catchers used for collecting water are cheap and sustainable.”
You must be curious now about how water is extracted from a fog. In the Atacama Desert in Chile, the average rainfall is less than 0.1 mm (0.004 in) per year. While there is little rain, the clouds here carry humidity.
Coastal fog forms on Chile’s shores and then moves inland in the form of cloud banks. The locals call it “camanchaca”. The fog is made up of minuscule drops of water which are so light that they do not fall as rain.
During a particularly severe drought in 1956, scientist Carlos Espinosa Arancibia came up with the idea of the fog catcher: netting with tiny openings (approximately 1 mm) to capture the tiny water droplets in the fog.
The droplets accumulate in the netting and form a bigger drop which eventually runs off the netting into a canal underneath. From there, they are channelled through a pipe to containers at the base of the hills, ready for use.
An average-sized fog catcher of 40 sq m, costs between $1,000 and $1,500 depending on the material used. Its impact on the environment is minimal as the metal posts can be discreetly hidden among the vegetation. As the water is transported down the hill by gravity, there is no extra cost involved for transport.