Waterspots : Watering Holes for the 21st Century

Waterspots* are decentralized water catchment & treatment hubs that harvest rain, fog & dew. As climate change progresses, capturing fog & dew for drinking purposes will become an increasingly important tool for water security. At the same time, climate change will cause rainfall in many semi-arid climates across the globe to decrease. Rain events that do occur are slated to be stronger & shorter. Maximizing our capacity to capture that water when it falls is vital to enhancing water resilience as climates shift.

Waterspots accomplish both of these goals. Layers of plastic filament mesh span a frame of aluminum pipes. Acting much like the needles of redwood trees, the mesh captures passing fog and transfers it to storage & treatment containers below.

Support pipes have two additional functions. Designed to be hollow, they catch & store rainwater. They are also cooled with solar power, enabling them to serve as dew catchers during nighttime & dawn hours. Once treated, water is pumped to waist-height water spouts, where users can source fresh water onsite.

*Our first prototype of the tool was installed at the Berkeley Marina's Cal Sailing Club in the fall of 2017. For more details on the piece, see the images below. 

Because fog flows differently in different places, Waterspots come in four versions. Square models are designed for areas with consistent wind direction, such as coastlines & ridge tops. Round models are designed for areas with less consistent wind direction, such as denser urban streets & centralized neighborhood parks. Each model comes with educational touch screens to spread information about water use & alternative catchment systems.

Waterspots also serve as public gathering spaces. Seating allows people to linger, learn about water resilience issues, chat with each other and enjoy a rest from the day. Waterspots bring water catchment & treatment to the public realm, creating accessible spaces to celebrate the value of water in watering holes of the 21st century.

For more on the long term goals for Waterspots, check out our animated short!