Skip to main content

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.

The wettest desert on earth

Cherapunjee, the wettest spot on earth, has a serious drought problem. In the Atacama desert, the driest spot on earth it never rains but people have managed to grow trees with fog water. THE WETTEST DESERT ON EARTH shows that drought can hardly be defined as ' a lack of rain'. Cherapunjee, in the North East of India, receives an annual rainfall of 11,5 meter. This impressive amount falls in the monsoon season, from April through to July. The rest of the year is dry, bone dry. Agriculture has become impossible, people survive by mining. In the Garo Hills, nearby, the causes of this strange paradox are found. Farmers practise slash and burn cultivation that allows the rain to wash away the top soil. Within years, only bare ground will remain and nothing remains of the impressive amount of rain. The driest spot on earth is the Chilean/Peruvian Atacama desert. At some places in this coastal desert no rain has been recorded ever. Nevertheless life is possible because of the regular presence of fog, that is captured by plants. Scientists have developed a system to harvest this fog for human consumption and enabled poor fishing villages to survive on it. They also discovered that fog catching is nothing new. Hundreds of years ago the desert was filled with forest that captured fog water. Again the availability of water is dependent on the state of the environment, not on the amount of precipitation. Drought has nothing to do with a lack of water, it has everything to do with the capacity to use the water that is available.

TitleThe wettest desert on earth
Publication TypeAudiovisual
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHaas, J. de
Paginationvideo (50 min.)
Date Published2000-01-01
PublisherJoost de Haas Mediaproductions
Place PublishedGelselaar, The Netherlands
Keywordschile atacama desert, drought, erosion, fog harvesting, rainfall, sdiwrm
Abstract

Cherapunjee, the wettest spot on earth, has a serious drought problem. In the Atacama desert, the driest spot on earth it never rains but people have managed to grow trees with fog water. THE WETTEST DESERT ON EARTH shows that drought can hardly be defined as ' a lack of rain'. Cherapunjee, in the North East of India, receives an annual rainfall of 11,5 meter. This impressive amount falls in the monsoon season, from April through to July. The rest of the year is dry, bone dry. Agriculture has become impossible, people survive by mining. In the Garo Hills, nearby, the causes of this strange paradox are found. Farmers practise slash and burn cultivation that allows the rain to wash away the top soil. Within years, only bare ground will remain and nothing remains of the impressive amount of rain. The driest spot on earth is the Chilean/Peruvian Atacama desert. At some places in this coastal desert no rain has been recorded ever. Nevertheless life is possible because of the regular presence of fog, that is captured by plants. Scientists have developed a system to harvest this fog for human consumption and enabled poor fishing villages to survive on it. They also discovered that fog catching is nothing new. Hundreds of years ago the desert was filled with forest that captured fog water. Again the availability of water is dependent on the state of the environment, not on the amount of precipitation. Drought has nothing to do with a lack of water, it has everything to do with the capacity to use the water that is available.

Custom 1822
Original PublicationDe natste woestijn op aarde

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.