[permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture

Rich Blaha rich at mossbackfarm.com
Wed Jul 12 14:25:54 EDT 2006


Hi Antonio, et al.

I'm under the impression that a mulch cover does more to prevent loss of water from the soil rather than to absorb dew and humidity.  Not that it couldn't happen, but looking just beneath the dewy surface of my mulches, they are as dry as they were the sunny afternoon before.

The prevention of soil water loss is still significant, since soil evaporation can be a big problem in hot exposed locations.  That just doesn't help Antonio out on his question.

If you get lots of coastal fog (as opposed to just dew), some folks in S America have been working on fog catchment systems for a decade or so....a couple of links are 

http://www.fogquest.org/projects.shtml
http://idrinfo.idrc.ca/Archive/ReportsINTRA/pdfs/v22n4e/112937.htm
http://www.rexresearch.com/airwells/airwells.htm (scroll down for Airwells, Fog & dew catchment.  Just make sure that you don't install a HAARP array on your place ;) )

I had grand plans some years back to use a portable fog catchment system to supply water to remote forestry restoration projects along the OR/CA coast.  I still think it has potential...perhaps someday....

Cheers

Rich
Mossback Farm
www.mossbackfarm.com/journal



>  
>  Message: 3
>  Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:30:18 -0400
>  From: sinergyinaction at netscape.net
>  Subject: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>  Message-ID: <8C873DF36DA175A-1118-3AA2C at mblkn-m20.sysops.aol.com>
>  Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>  
>  Hi,
>  how is it possible to catch and store humidity from air (not rainfall!)?
>  Any ideas or experiences?
>  
>  Cheers
>  Antonio
>  
>  
>  ------------------------------
>  
>  Message: 4
>  Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 10:40:26 -0500
>  From: "Kevin Topek" <ktopek at houston.rr.com>
>  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Message-ID: <000801c6a5c9$7fd7daa0$0200a8c0 at kevin>
>  Content-Type: text/plain;	 charset="iso-8859-1"
>  
>  Mulch will capture the dew from night's cooler temperatures and retain it.
>  Stones can do the same as the moisture condenses on them and runs into the
>  soil. Heavy  groundcover plantings will also collect humidity and preserve
>  soil moisture.
>  
>  Kevin
>  
>  ----- Original Message -----
>  From: <sinergyinaction at netscape.net>
>  To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:30 AM
>  Subject: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  
>  
>  > Hi,
>  > how is it possible to catch and store humidity from air (not rainfall!)?
>  > Any ideas or experiences?
>  >
>  > Cheers
>  > Antonio
>  > _______________________________________________
>  > permaculture mailing list
>  > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>  > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>  
>  
>  
>  
>  ------------------------------
>  
>  Message: 5
>  Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 11:47:53 -0400
>  From: sinergyinaction at netscape.net
>  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>  Message-ID: <8C873E1ABCD851E-1118-3AB23 at mblkn-m20.sysops.aol.com>
>  Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>  
>  Hi Kevin
>  well I was actually thinking of storing this "free" water in a tank, apart from doing what you suggest,
>  so that I could use it at a later time.
>  
>  By the way do you think that high night air humidity can  substitute (to some extent) for lack of irrigation during daytime hours in very hot climates?
>  The place I am concerned with has (at this time of the year) very high day T (>40?C) but much lower night T with lots of humidity in the night.
>  
>  Sometimes I feel that mulch (straw and other organic mulches) although they let the humidity condensate on them, they do not allow much percolation to the ground itself.
>  
>  Cheers
>  Antonio
>  -----Original Message-----
>  From: Kevin Topek <ktopek at houston.rr.com>
>  To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Sent: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 10:40:26 -0500
>  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  
>  
>  Mulch will capture the dew from night's cooler temperatures and retain it.
>  Stones can do the same as the moisture condenses on them and runs into the
>  soil. Heavy  groundcover plantings will also collect humidity and preserve
>  soil moisture.
>  
>  Kevin
>  
>  ----- Original Message -----
>  From: <sinergyinaction at netscape.net>
>  To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:30 AM
>  Subject: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  
>  
>  > Hi,
>  > how is it possible to catch and store humidity from air (not rainfall!)?
>  > Any ideas or experiences?
>  >
>  > Cheers
>  > Antonio
>  > _______________________________________________
>  > permaculture mailing list
>  > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>  > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>  
>  
>  _______________________________________________
>  permaculture mailing list
>  permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>  http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>  
>  
>  ------------------------------
>  
>  Message: 6
>  Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 01:54:19 +1000
>  From: jedd <jedd at progsoc.org>
>  Subject: Re: [permaculture] Techniques for capturing moisture
>  To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>  Message-ID: <200607130154.20053.jedd at progsoc.org>
>  Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="iso-8859-1"
>  
>  On Thursday 13 July 2006 1:30 am, sinergyinaction at netscape.net wrote:
>  ] how is it possible to catch and store humidity from air (not rainfall!)?
>  ] Any ideas or experiences?
>  
>  I believe there's two tried and tested approaches that work on a
>  decent scale.  (For small scale stuff, just having a rock mulch, or
>  a sheet of metal angled towards the drip zone, will give some
>  benefit.)
>  
>  Ponds and piles of rocks, though, can recover sizeable quantities
>  of water from the air .. but that depends on geography as much as
>  design, I suspect.
>  
>  Historically, the English built insulated ponds -- straw, then clay,
>  then rocks above that.  This ensured the water was cooler than the
>  surrounding soil, and dissippated heat as fast as possible.  Site
>  became important (water-laden air follows valleys) -- so half
>  way up a valley is ideal.
>  
>  Going back even further, there are lots of recorded examples of
>  using a stack of rocks (sitting on top of a big water-proof 'saucer',
>  usually of rock too) -- but this has to be a *big* stack to be
>  really useful .. and you need to be in a pretty foggy place for
>  it to be of much benefit.  I believe in ideal situations you can
>  recover a few thousand litres of water a night from these kinds
>  of devices .. but not sure how big that would need to be, and
>  whether there are thermal limitations on the optimum size of
>  your pile -- or just practical ones.
>  
>  Jedd.
>  
>  
>  
>  
>  
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>  
>  End of permaculture Digest, Vol 42, Issue 19
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