How fog collectors are providing trees with water in Spain

  • 27.08.2022
  • The Guardian

As summer fires continue to devastate huge areas of woodland in Spain, France and Portugal, and drought plagues Europe and the UK leaving tens of thousands of acres at risk of desertification, some scientists are busy collecting fog.

The EU-backed project (niebla is Spanish for fog) is using fog collectors in Gran Canaria in Spain’s Canary Islands, and Portugal, to improve degraded landscape and fuel reforestation.

Fog collectors – sheets of plastic mesh erected in the path of the wind – already exist but have never been used efficiently, says Vicenç Carabassa, the project’s head scientist, who works for the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (Creaf), a public research institute at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. As wind blows fog through the mesh, water droplets collect and fall into the containers below.