Combatting drought in the Canaries

One of the three systems Credit: Project LIFE Nieblas

As Spain wrestles with drought-induced water restrictions, the urgency of conserving water resources becomes clear.

Regions, like the Canary Islands, are taking active steps to address this crucial problem. In the mist, where tiny droplets create clouds, Project LIFE Nieblas España, backed by funding from the European Union, has developed three innovative systems to capture fog water efficiently.

Groundbreaking solution

These systems, including the groundbreaking needle collector, offer a sustainable solution to water scarcity, crucial for reforestation and irrigation in these water-stressed forests.

Inspired by nature’s ingenious water collection mechanisms found in pine needles, the needle collector employs a mesh structure to gather water droplets from fog and mist.
Its innovative design not only maximises water retention but also minimises energy consumption, rendering it a remarkably efficient and eco-friendly solution. What’s more, its cost-effectiveness and low maintenance requirements make it an ideal choice for adoption in
various settings, from rural landscapes to bustling urban centres.

Staggering results

In the span of four years, these groundbreaking methods have successfully extracted a staggering 100,000 litres of water, averaging an impressive 250 litres per square metre each month.
This substantial volume has been instrumental in irrigating a vast expanse of 20 hectares of reforested land, a region left barren by devastating wildfires in 2019 on Gran Canaria. By strategically positioning individual collectors across the landscape, this innovative technology efficiently captures fog water, providing a sustainable irrigation source for the recently planted vegetation.
Not only does this approach foster the rejuvenation of degraded ecosystems, but it also fortifies forested areas against the looming threats of future droughts and wildfires.
As Project LIFE Nieblas España fine-tunes and broadens the horizons of needle collector technology, the possibilities for its widespread adoption and transformative impact soar.

Pioneering methods

This pioneering method of rainwater collection not only tackles urgent water scarcity issues head-on but also underscores the profound influence of sustainable solutions in combating environmental crises.

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Written by

Eva Alvarez