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Project February 1, 2024

Fog Collectors in the Canary Islands Combat Drought Tied To Climate Change



The summer of 2022 saw Europe’s worst drought in 500 years, hitting two-thirds of the continent with hot and dry conditions that fueled wildfires and reduced crop yields. Climate change has made such droughts more intense and widespread. According to the World Health Organization, by 2025, half of the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas.

In Spain’s foggy and dry Canary Islands, locals have been collecting mist from waxy laurel leaves for centuries. Today, rural farmers are plumbing these ancient methods to contend with unprecedented drought. An increasing number are using “fog collectors,” or upright sheets of mesh feeding into containers, to meet their water needs without consuming energy or affecting other natural resources. Experts say while fog collectors alone cannot solve the world’s water problems, they can be crucial on a small scale.

Fog collectors can be found in over a dozen countries, including Morocco, Chile, and the U.S., but much of the research is done on the Canary Islands due to high altitudes, fog, and water scarcity. A four-year project called Life Nieblas is studying how to use fog collectors most efficiently to aid reforestation. The Canarian company Nieblagua installs them on farms across the islands.

In a short documentary for Scientific American, fiilmmaker and journalist Meghan McDonough explores how these ancient methods are being revisited and refined in the face of climate change.


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Our Work/Environment

Our Work/Environment


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change