From Fog Nets to Neural Nets

Model the water output from water-collecting fog nets in Southwest Morocco. Accurate predictions can improve collection efforts and enable greater access to fresh water throughout the year. #development

$15,000 in prizes
may 2016
543 joined

Dar Si Hmad

DAR SI HMAD (DSH) promotes local culture and creates sustainable initiatives through education and the integration and use of scientific ingenuity with the communities of Southwest Morocco.

DSH has built the world’s largest fog-collection and distribution system to serve rural, landlocked indigenous communities in the Anti-Atlas Mountains in Southwest Morocco. Scarce water, compromised wells and climate change-induced droughts have destabilized traditional Amazigh (Berber) communities and have created heavy burdens on marginalized women.

But while Southwest Morocco is water-poor, abundant fog drapes the area 6 months/year. Fog collection is an ancient system to collect clean water in a non-invasive, ecologically friendly way in regions where fog abounds. In Phase 1, DSH has installed 600 square meters of fog nets, solar water pumps and 8km of pipes, to now deliver potable water to +400 rural Berber people that have never had running water.

Delivery of fogwater significantly reduces women’s laborious water-gathering chores, and helps foster stable communities, continuation of ancestral languages and ways of living in thriving local environments. Specifically, water-gathering chores took up to 3.5 hours/day and often interrupted, or prevented, girls from regularly attending school. And, water availability allows poor farmers to keep their livestock which they previously might have sold during increasingly frequent droughts that lowered the water table, forcing livestock sales and driving farmers into cycles of poverty.

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Tifawin Institute

TIFAWIN INSTITUTE is committed to a world where humanitarian engineering, appropriate technology, media, environmental stewardship, education, opportunity and research come together to transform vulnerable populations into vibrant, resilient sustainable communities. Tifawin Institute’s mission is to develop research-based and culturally aware approaches to community resilience, especially in the face of climate change. To do that, we support indigenous knowledge to create more resilient communities, while implementing solutions that are grounded in research. Our approach includes the application of participatory development and user-centered design to address the interconnected challenges of environmental stress, poor education, marginalization and lack of livelihoods.

Tifawin Institute actively collaborates with universities and research institutions to support applied solutions informed by research. This includes the incorporation of humanitarian engineering, Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) and other emerging solutions that support integrated natural resource management, climate resilience initiatives, education and workforce development.

Tifawin Institute partners with Association Dar Si Hmad to help guide research on the world’s largest operating fogwater harvesting system, located in rural southwest Morocco.