Fog net is tested on Point Reyes

David Briggs

DROUGHT: In an effort to capture water from fog during one of the worst droughts in California’s history, a small team of locals erected a “fog net” on Coast Guard land on the Point Reyes Peninsula on Sunday. Richard Kirschman, who spearheaded the project with his partner, Doris Ober, said the National Park Service declined requests to test the net on seashore property, replying that such an experiment would require a detailed proposal that considered visual impacts and potential impacts on wildlife and vegetation. Mr. Kirschman ultimately got help from Kevin and Nancy Lunny, who graze cattle on pasture surrounding the Coast Guard facility. “After Newfoundland, Point Reyes is the foggiest place in North America, perhaps the ideal place to test such a contraption,” Mr. Kirschman told the Light. “Ours is one of the first efforts in the country to extract water from fog—if not the very first. The simplicity of this device raises questions as to whether our culture’s fixation on high-tech devices may be blinding us to low-tech solutions to our problems. Other places have been experimenting with the technology for decades.” The fog net is about the size of a volleyball net. The netting is an aluminized mesh and the structure consists of 20-foot guy wires clipped to the tops of poles made of P.V.C. and fixed to tent pegs. A plastic gutter runs along the bottom of the net, with a downspout for collecting the fog drip.