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Chile - Cloud Trapping


During the Cop 22 in Morocco, I heard about the "Cloud Catchers" for the first time. But my interlocutor was not really "hot" for me to come and photograph them during the two months I was staying in the country. I remembered that the nets were to be changed in the next few months and that it would be better to come back later...

So when in Chile we learned that there were some, and that it was even in that same country that they had been thought of and designed for the first time, it was out of the question to return to France empty-handed once again.

We found them in the Atacama desert (the most arid desert in the world, according to many people), and more precisely on the heights of Chañaral. At the end of the day, we arrived on the spot and we were lucky enough to meet Mario, one of the active "socio" (participant) of the project who introduced us to the place and allowed us to pitch our tent on the spot.

This water catchment structure has existed for 22 years, created by a group of families. Nets installed at the top of the mountain allow water to be captured from the air by condensation at a rate of 1.5 litres per square meter, i.e. 1,000 litres (sometimes even 8,000 litres!) per night. A small part of the water is sold to a company that bottles it under the name "Agua de nubes" (Water from the clouds) scented with aloe. An adjoining aloe vera plantation is irrigated with another part and there are plans to grow tomatoes and lettuce too.