Principles of Innovative Water Capture Technology

To harvest water from the air, turn two dimensions into three…

wall2layers2Cedar Fence, Enhanced by Lichen

Efficiently harvesting snow and absorbing it for later use.

If you like, though, you can also turn three dimensions into two, like this …

snowcaptureAnti-Deer Wrap Collecting Snow

This is a technology existing in potential only. Currently, the snow is being lost.

Here is another grid that goes a little further, and begins to turn the two dimensions into one …

snowfenceAnti Critter Fence

Part of a subdivision’s green plan, efficiently gathering snow and channelling it for harvest … which is currently not being done.

Here’s another technology in potential that turns three dimensions into two, and then into one …

Just Another Rock Pile? Hardly

One dimensional cheatgrass, growing from a two-dimensional soil surface, watered by a three dimensional scree slope. Think of it as a channelled form of evaporation, that captures carbon as it rises into the air.

Here’s a technology that transforms one dimensional space into three, and then back again…

sagesnowSagebrush in the Snow

One dimensional snow, blowing horizontally, is gathered by the screen of a sagebrush and transformed into three dimensional clots of snow, each big enough to form one water drop when the sun comes out. Each one is now big enough to use water tension to avoid evaporation, and runs down the one dimensional stem to the two dimensional soil when the wind shakes the branches.

Here is a variation on the theme that combines several of these technologies into one structure…


Young Ponderosa Pine Sifting Snow Out of the Air

Photosynthesis takes place at the boundary between atoms, forcing them to transfer electrons across a membrane, in the same way our lungs breathe by equalizing pressure between negative and positive oxygen states across a thin membrane. Here the boundary membrane is dimensional, but the principle still holds: energy transfer takes place on boundaries. Where boundaries are created between dimensions, energy can be concentrated, for use. Here is what is currently being done with this energy, using a technology trapped in infancy…


Snow Going Down the Drain

There isn’t even a generator here to create electricity. There is nothing. An expensive snow gathering mechanism has been created, but not to gather and concentrate energy — only to discard it.

These drains are a hundred metres apart. Each one will power a lightbulb. If that’s what we want to do. As for the rest of what is happening on the hill around this road, well … our future is there, as easy to grasp as this …


Where the Drains Go, Vernon Creek Estuary, Okanagan Lake

Humans have successfully turned a complex system into an abstraction: potential water. The gulls are individualizing it and making use of it along the way, before breaking up for their summer.

We can learn from gulls.


3 replies »

  1. One afternoon at a writer’s retreat I stayed out in a rain shower to see what the bees buzzing in a bush in the garden would do in the rain. I forget what the bees did \now, but I looked down into the grass and observed an ant carrying its large white egg egg over its head, through a forest of uncut grass blades. The sun came out and each tip of each blade of grass held a drop of water, like dew. I picked one blade and carried it in to the workshop- like a small canoe- not one dimensional at all- it held its clear, round, perfect cargo for some time. I noticed that the blade, uncut, was perfectly designed to hold and then deliver the drop, when surface tension or the heat of the day released the moisture to run down the v channel of the stem efficiently to the root of the plant. More to learn about the miracle of grass ( and reason not to cut every bit of it in your yard!).


    • Good on you for noticing that little 3-D glitch. I saw that myself, but thought, aw, shucks, the idea, that the energy is being transferred into a vertical line, that’s the thing. Thanks for gently reminding me that it’s not only that but lots more. Best, Harold


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.