A Neglected Water Resource: The Camanchaca of South America

Robert S. Schemenauer
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Humberto Fuenzalida
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Pilar Cereceda
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Many parts of the world are currently suffering water shortages. Few areas, however, have as little precipitation and groundwater available to alleviate the problem as does the northern coast of Chile. The historical background of the attempts to collect water directly from the coastal stratocumulus decks is reviewed in this paper as are the meteorological and geographical considerations important to the collection of the cloud water. Calculations of water availability and cost indicate that this may well be an important source of water for some coastal regions. A combined research and applied project to study the properties of high-elevation fogs and their use as a water supply will be conducted by Chilean and Canadian agencies from late 1987 to the end of 1988.

1 Atmospheric Environment Service, Downs view, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T4.

2 University of Chile, Casilla 2777 Santiago, Chile.

3 Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile.

Many parts of the world are currently suffering water shortages. Few areas, however, have as little precipitation and groundwater available to alleviate the problem as does the northern coast of Chile. The historical background of the attempts to collect water directly from the coastal stratocumulus decks is reviewed in this paper as are the meteorological and geographical considerations important to the collection of the cloud water. Calculations of water availability and cost indicate that this may well be an important source of water for some coastal regions. A combined research and applied project to study the properties of high-elevation fogs and their use as a water supply will be conducted by Chilean and Canadian agencies from late 1987 to the end of 1988.

1 Atmospheric Environment Service, Downs view, Ontario, Canada M3H 5T4.

2 University of Chile, Casilla 2777 Santiago, Chile.

3 Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile.

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