Collecting dew from thin air

Some companies like Tal Ya are making the most of dew in irrigating farmers’ fields. Others like EWA are squeezing water out of thin air. Although this comes at an enormous cost of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Passive solutions that happen with nature’s help are what we want. Faced with an extremely dry winter last year, Israeli researchers tried collecting water with fishing line.

tal ya tal-ya, plastic trays in  a line collecting dew

Tal-Ya collects water from dew

According to the country’s Export Institute where the news was summed up, dew “captured” by simple fishing wire can add up to 10% to irrigation water in desert areas.

Last winter’s study was done by Yehuda Research and Development Center as a means to find more solutions for years where rainfall is quite low. This approach could help farmers use every bit of water for irrigating their fields.

Dew is formed when atmospheric moisture condenses on surfaces as a result of temperature differences. In the study, fishing wire was used because its surface area, when out under vegetables, captures the most moisture than any other material, the researchers said. In the study, the wire increased soil moisture about three times, yet the practical application of using this solution still needs some looking into.

It’s likely that ancient Nabatean farmers and others in the area thousands of years ago used dew for their harvest. In Jewish prayers, which have a distinct connection to the land, there is a prayer for dew. It is also considered “kosher” to make the special Jewish challa bread using dew.

We’d like to see more applications of this dewy phenomenon. It could have a meaningful impact in the dry Middle East.

nabateans collect water from flash floods

Nabateans collected flash flood waters, in Petra

More on water technologies:
EWA Squeezes Water Out of Thin Air
Tal Ya Water Trays Make The Most of Dew
Yemen Makes Freshwater Out of Watercone

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