Chile - Padre Hurtado 1999-2004

Update 2009 This is an example of a fog collection project that fulfilled a societal need successfully for five years. It was concluded because the church was no longer going to staff and operate the sanctuary as before. The potential production of fog water remains there for future uses.

Update October 2004

With the phasing out of the church’s activities at the Sanctuary of Padre Hurtado, we have ceased our commitment to helping with the water supply for the Sanctuary. The current LFCs will be repaired and relocated on the mountain. Please see the Cerro Talinay description for further information.

Background

There were 8 large fog collectors on Talinay Mountain (Cerro Talinay) in central Chile for a period of five years. The collectors provided about 1500 liters of water a day, through a 3.5 km pipeline, to the Sanctuary of Padre Hurtado located on the Pan American Highway about 750 meters below. This project was funded largely by the Baehr family in British Columbia, Canada, and was inaugurated in October 1999, before FogQuest was formed. The project was developed and constructed by experts who are now members of FogQuest. The water from the collectors went to a 35 m3 reservoir near the Sanctuary. The water was used for the home of the caretaker, the gardens at the site, and for the bathrooms for the several thousand visitors each month. The fog collectors successfully provided the daily water needs for the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is in one of the poorest rural areas of Chile. Average annual rainfall is only about 100 mm and the terrain is extremely dry. This severely limits the possibilities for both agriculture and the raising of animals by the people in nearby settlements.

In the period 2001 to 2004, FogQuest provided modest assistance to maintain the site. The work was carried out by staff and students in the Geography Institute of the Pontifical University of Chile in Santiago under the direction of Pablo Osses. A discussion of the site and the results from the fog collection measurements have appeared in several publications