Peruvians find an unusual source of water right here in the desert.
Last week one of our blog readers asked a fairly common question: "So where do you get the water for a big city like that?" That's a good question when you consider the enormous population of Lima and the fact that we receive no more than a half inch of rain per year. About 80 percent of Lima's water comes from the Andes mountains located to the east. Much of the water is actually melted ice from the numerous tropical glaciers. It is troubling however to see that these vast ice fields are disappearing. In perhaps as little as ten years there will be no sufficent water source for Lima. Even today about 2 million people in the city of Lima do not have running water.
Peruvians have found a way to get water in the desert. They're "harvesting" it from the clouds! Lima is covered with a thick, damp fog for at least six months of the year. By placing large nets on the mountain tops that run through town, they are actually able to capture the moisture that is in the clouds. In one section of town the nets are being used with great success. A net, about 13 feet high by 26 feet long can capture as much as 150 gallons of water in one day. We can actually see some of these nets in use right here in La Molina where we live. If you'd like to read an interesting article about this creative water source visit the National Geographic News site.