Not all of the Arabian peninsula is a barren desert. Oman, which runs south along the eastern border, has mountains along the coastline and the northern part of them forms striking fjords in the Musandam area. Further south, the area around Salalah is also green and lush and I recently found out it has a rainy season. The monsoons that wash over the Indian subcontinent make their way through Oman as well. And those two months of rain give the region a valuable opportunity to collect water.
The initiative is called “fog collecting” and is used in a few parts of the world where there is heavy fog to produce water. This is largely an effort in smaller communities in developing areas so you won’t be finding these nets scattered around San Francisco. But with simple and cheap plastic nets, communities can trap the fog which then drips into a reservoir below. Salalah hopes to plant thousands of trees to reverse the desertification of the last 40 years. And eventually Omani officials want to encourage farmers to use this method to collect this water for livestock.
Mitsubishi is supplying funding and manpower on the project as part of its corporate sustainability program and its executive in charge of the project had a more poetic name: “Mist Catchers.”