FOG WATER FARMS PROJECT

PROJECT INFORMATION

Project Type

Fog water collection

Project Location

Lomas de Zapallal, outside of
Lima, Peru

Project Partner

UW Departments of Global Health
and Landscape Architecture; Universidad de San Marcos;

Fogarty International Scholars program;

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; The communities of Lomas de Zapallal

Project Start Date

2015

Project Team

Ben Spencer

Brian Gerich

David Witte

Jess Smith

Coco Alarcon
Leann Andrews

# of AWB Volunteers

Numerous volunteers + UW students

 

More Information

The Fog Water Farms Project is one of several projects AWB-Seattle is partnering with University of Washington to implement in Lomas de Zapallal. Learn more about this project and our partnership with University of Washington! You can read about our background on this project and see the partner projects here.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Many of the almost 3 million slum occupants in Lima live without reliable access to clean water. Within as little as a decade, the city’s primary water supply, Andean glaciers below 5500 meters, will melt as a result of climate change and the city’s already inadequate water networks will become increasingly dysfunctional. Lima receives as little as 1/2 cm of rain fall annually, yet has a thick fog bank 6 – 8 months out of the year. In an effort to find a renewable source of water this project focuses on the design and evaluation of fog harvesting technologies that provide clean water at point of use (POU), to help Lima’s slum communities adapt to increasing water scarcity, reduce air pollution, and improve food security through the irrigation of public green spaces and gardens.

 

By seeking improvements in all components of a fog collection system, a holistic and integrated design was created. The SQWater system captures, stores, and delivers fog water for the irrigation of parks, reforestation, and urban farming, and for household use and drinking, improving ecological and human health and offering a potential source for income generation among LdZ community members. Water systems are often buried underground and hidden from public view. The SQWater system is integrated into a conceptual site design of public space that fosters awareness of water scarcity and an ethic of sustainable water use.

 

Between June of 2015 and June of 2017, volunteers from AWB-S, UW students and faculty, and community members from the neighborhood of Eliseo Collazos are undertaking a project titled ‘Fog Water Farms’ with funding from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The project expands upon the IUCI’s previous work on household gardens and fog collection and involves the construction of a large scale fog collection system, more household gardens, a community garden and a small public park.

 

Between June and September of 2015, the IUCI team completed the first phase of the ‘Fog Water Farms’ project. Working closely with community members to overcome the project’s technical and social challenges, they designed and constructed four large fog collectors, expanded 29 household gardens previously constructed in EC and designed and facilitated the construction of an additional 18 household gardens and a community garden. Fully operational during the fog season in Lima, the fog collection system captures fog water as a source of irrigation for the gardens. They will also serve as the source of irrigation for the public park, currently under development and to be constructed during phase 2 of the project.

 

The project addresses an endemic lack of public green space in Lima’s poor neighborhoods and the impending threat of and urban water insecurity arising from climate change induced glacial melt in the Andes. Drawing upon local resources including a thick blanket of fog that covers Lima for much of the year and the ingenuity and dedication of participants, the project serves as an example of point of use infrastructure as alternative to centralized infrastructural systems. It aims to distribute vital resources to disenfranchised urban populations and empower slum dwellers to take control of the future development of their neighborhoods.

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