Chile - Cerro Talinay 2004 - 2005

Update – July 2009

This site is not being developed further at the present. The needed cooperation and commitment from the local municipality and technical school were not forthcoming in the end and so the olive plantation and teaching component are on hold indefinitely. In terms fog water production and space for large fog collectors, Cerro Talinay remains an excellent location. Pablo Osses has arranged for much the materials from Cerro Talinay to be moved and used for other sites in Chile. The Cerro Talinay site could be easily built up again at some point when the need for water leads to a strong commitment from the villagers or a private land owner. The teaching component originally proposed for this site is now being done at the Atacama Desert Center at Alto Patache in Chile.

Update February 2005

We have made major progress at the Cerro Talinay site in Chile. Six large fog collectors were built in January by a group led by Virginia Carter, a student Pablo Osses. In addition, the group moved materials from the previous Padre Hurtado project for use in the new undertaking. We have very good cooperation with the staff and students a local technical school in Canela who contributed considerable labor during the construction phase. It is expected that by March the community Los Tomes will have their plan and funding in place to build the pipeline that will take the water to their new olive grove at the bottom the mountain. In the meantime, students and pressors from Santiago and Canela will have access to the site for educational purposes and the people Los Tomes can use the water on the mountain ridge for their grazing animals. The six LFCs will produce about 1000 liters water a day.

Background

The older LFCs, previously used in the Padre Hurtado project, will be repaired and relocated on the mountain. The site will now focus on its developing role as a water school, to illustrate to students how fog collectors are constructed, how they operate, and the benefits to arid lands from the water produced. In addition, we will move water from the LFCs down to Los Tomes for use in the community and their elementary school. This village is on the east side the mountain as opposed to the previous main user, the Sanctuary Padre Hurtado, which is on the west side. The initial water system for Padre Hurtado was funded by the Baehr family of British Columbia, Canada, and provided water for years for the use the shrine. The generosity of Paul Baehr and Joe and Jean Baehr has as a legacy not only the years water provided to the sanctuary but the proposed new project described here.

There will be ten Large Fog Collectors (LFCs) on Talinay Mountain, which is about 280 km north Santiago. The village ofLos Tomes is very keen on receiving the water and the plan for sharing the responsibility for the project, and the costs, between FogQuest and WasserStiftung, the village, and the municipality is being finalized. The project will include a “water school” concept involving the elementary school in Los Tomes, a technical college in Canela, and the Catholic University in Santiago. This work will include the help an agriculturist to set up a garden plot to grow olives in the village and to possibly create another plot on the mountain. The LFCs should be operational by December 2004 and the other project infrastructure will be built up through 2005.