Along the slopes of the hills of Gran Canaria, the third largest island in the Spanish Canary Archipelago, you can see groups of green monoliths: Captaniplas, literally “mist hunter”. They are plastic nets wrapped on parallelepiped structures arranged on stormy slopes and designed to collect the water in the typical island mist: the wind facilitates the condensation of the water on the intervening net, which then falls into a bowl. Laid under a parallel line. The purpose of Captaniplas It is the irrigation of degraded and removed land.
To be installed in different regions of Gran Canaria, but also in some places in Portugal, Life Nieblas, one of the projects of the environment and climate action funded by the European Union, was launched in 2020. To the reforestation activity aimed at re-expansion in lorsilva It is characteristic of the Canary Islands, a type of evergreen tropical plant that is found in very humid and constantly warm areas throughout the year, and its name owes to the presence of plants from the family LauraceaeWhich includes bay leaf, eucalyptus and avocado.
The restoration of this forest will allow to combat desertification and bring more water to the aquifers of Gran Canaria, which are under pressure due to the intensive exploitation necessary for human activities on the island.
In a healthy laurel, plants behave like Captaniplas Natural: It thrives thanks to the water in the mist that condenses on its glossy leaves. The synthetic system can not be used to collect it in the Mediterranean region, which is very dry, but it works in foggy and windy areas, such as some areas of the Canary Islands and Portugal, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. However, it will also be tested in Catalonia, in an area that burned in a major fire in 2015 in an effort to speed up its reforestation.
technology Captaniplasalso called AtrapanplasIt’s been around since the sixties. The first prototype of these devices was designed in Chile, to be used in the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest regions in the world but also very foggy due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Later it was also used in other South American countries and in Israel.
Vicenç Carabassa, Senior Scientist at Life Nieblas and Researcher at the University of Barcelona, explanation for guardian even if you were Captaniplas It has been around for some time – in the Canary Islands it was actually used, years ago, to produce bottled water which was heralded as the first water obtained from fog – the best conditions for its use are not yet understood.
The objective of the project on Gran Canaria is to collect 215,000 liters of water annually into 35 green hectares (0.35 km²) with 20,000 plants in the Doramas region, north of the island, affected by various fires.
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