Stealing Water from the Sky: Fog Catching

Growing up near San Francisco, California (and now living there) I have always had to deal with the inevitable fog that rolls in from the ocean seemingly every day. Everyone is always complaining about the fog ruining their day and the depression of weeks on weeks of endless fog. Needless to say, I have never been very fond of the stuff. Because the people living in the San Francisco area are very fortunate and don't have to worry about water thanks to the melting snow pack that provides us clean water that lasts all year, fog was always just a nuisance. However, there are many places in the world where water is scarce and fog can instead be a blessing.

Scientists have found that as long as 2,000 years ago people were taking advantage of the fog as a source of water. They used a very simple technique that is not very different from modern rainwater harvesting. People noticed that when fog passed through an area some of the moisture was caught in the trees and other vegetation. So one day someone decided to put a pot under a tree and catch the water as it ran off of the leaves, much like water is collected as it runs off a roof nowadays, and after some time they had a pot with clean water in it, and from that day forward I'm sure that person was very popular.

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