Peru - Collanac 1993-1994

This project was undertaken many years before FogQuest was formed. The data collected are important in demonstrating the amounts of fog water that can be collected and effectively used in the arid desert near Lima, Peru.

Background

In 1993 the International Development Research Centre (Ottawa) provided funding through the NGO TECNIDES in Peru for an agricultural and forestry project near the community of Collanac. This is a scattered settlement in a sandy valley near Lima. The annual precipitation of about 5 mm shows that the community is in one of the driest deserts of the world. Large Fog Collectors (LFCs) were built using bamboo posts and Raschel mesh from Chile. Pilar Cereceda and Robert Schemenauer assisted Barbara Leon and her group at TECNIDES with the site selection, evaluation measurements and fog collector construction.

Standard Fog Collectors were placed at altitudes ranging from 450 to 800 m in the Zona de Manchay, over the period July 1993 to April 1994. Collection rates were from 2 to 5 L m-2 day-1, with higher values at higher altitudes. The water from the LFCs was used to grow cactus in the community, from which a fruit called tuna could be picked for sale. TECNIDES also produced large numbers of a native tree called a Tara (Caesalpina tinctorea) for planting on the hillsides around the community. The project continued for a number of years under the direction of TECNIDES.