2020-10-15 Irrigate With Moisture From Air

I’ve seen so many locations in Southern California that are pretty much barren mostly because the country is lacking water. The cost of water in So. Cal. is high because there are so many people that the water they need has to be imported from hundreds of miles away — as far as Northern California.

I thought that it would be really nice to drill a well to irrigate a plot of land to grow trees. The problem is how to drill a well deep enough to get fresh, unpolluted water. Does it cost a lot of money? Does it require the rights to the water under the property? Does it require many other legal things that make it really difficult or nearly impossible? Do you have to pay some agency for the right to use the water? And probably some other issues that must be dealt with.

I could collect rainwater for use later to irrigate. But it rains seldom and so little that it’s likely that that wouldn’t be enough. And when it rains I would have to store a large amount that would have to last a long time. This seems to be problematic and not practical. So I need a small stream of clean water that flows almost all the time, and with enough volume to water the property, maybe one acre to start.

I read about the farmers in a dry foreign country who put up fine nets of mesh that collect the dew at night, just like spider webs collect dew. It runs off and is collected for use. The air supplies enough moisture for their use. This seems like a great idea.

But I want to take it further than that. I thought that I could put up solar panels to supply enough electric power to take the moisture out of the air. I thought that running a refrigeration unit that cools a plate to collect ice, then it is thawed and the water runs off to be collected. The solar PV array could charge a sizeable capacity battery and then during the cool evening the battery would run the refrigeration unit to condense the water. The amount of water would be dependent on the moisture in the air. Some locations are in high humidity locations, so the system could generate a reasonable quantity of water.

Say the system could generate enough water to be a few GPM (gallons per minute) through a 3/4″ or 20mm PVC pipe. Would that be enough to water an acre of fruit trees during the summer? How much water does a single tree need to grow? There are lots of questions that have to be answered.

This web page gives a general idea of how much water a tree might need. It also depends on the season of the year.


The shrubs and row crops are different.

This website gives more info on how to water. Also tells about mulching.


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