Monitoring and evaluation of the equipment execution and results
Different analysis methods have been implemented during the project to measure several parameters within Life Nieblas. This action measures and analyses equipment’s efficiency according to the protocols established in action A3, on fog collection and irrigation systems (including incidents).
- The first indicator measures the amount of fog captured by the two types of collectors, traditional and innovative. Data started to be collected from April 2021 onwards and it seems to show a seasonal trend. The data also takes into account rainfall, so it is important to cross-reference it with weather data. Since the beginning of the project a maximum of water collected in a month by traditional FWC was 14,802L in January 2022 and the minimum was recorded in July 2021 (180L).
- The second indicator focuses on monitoring incidents within the irrigation systems. Different irrigation systems are tested at Life Nieblas. For instance, AFDS use an autonomous system liked to a dripping irrigation delivery network while the other systems (traditional, cocoons and IFWC reforestations) use a simple installations of hoses with manual assistance of the SFWs team. On the one hand, AFDS have not reported any incidents have. In terms of the AFDS system, it is worth mentioning that the storage and distribution strategy was amended. Instead of having one FWC connected to an independent AFDS (as detailed in action C.2 report) three FWCs were combined to feed a single water tank, with almost immediate results. This modification resulted in 410L of water being collected in one week after its implementation. On the other hand, there were two notable incidents; a 12,500L tank collapsed and a 50L loss of water was identified in March 2022. Further details can be read on action D.4 report.
- The third indicator relates to water level in our storage capacity. So far, it has been observed that the amount of water collected by the FWCs is seemingly low in summer. However, a natural effluent found at site, has helped Life Nieblas to cover for the lack of water collected over summer. The total volume of natural effluent used until end of 2022 has been 350,823 litters, while the total amount of water captured by traditional FWCs was 67,667 litres. In addition, 1,129L were collected by the newly installed innovative-FWC and 1,055L by the volumetric-FWC during the period Sep-Dec 2022 (alternative fog water capture methodologies trialled at Life Nieblas).
- The last indicator being monitored is the number of litres used for irrigation without incidents. The ongoing reforestation requires a large amount of water, the majority of which is used to support plant and tree growth. Until December 2022, 381,951 litres of water have been used for irrigation. Irrigation breakdown per area is as follows: 4% at the nursery, 31% at traditional method, 29% for AFDS, 11% for Cocoon and 23% for IFWC. It should be noted that 11,525L were saved at Cocoon (CCN1 area).
Nevertheless, by the beginning of 2023 the project has reached 48% of its final reforestation target with 9611 trees planted. Taking into account the current water requirement, it is estimated that the project will need 667,649 litres of water by the end of its implementation. Looking at current data, traditional FWCs have produced 14% of the total water requirements estimates for the end of project in 2024. It is important to note that this estimation are likely to change depending on the feedback over several years, the addition of innovative FWCs and the meteorological conditions
In accordance with Portugal, measurements have not been considered at this stage of the project (Dec 2022). At Carregal do Sal, 250 cocoons were watered, representing a total of 6250 litters. After reforestation took place for both i-FWC and traditional methods, rainfall events occurred, which was considered by the CIM VDL technicians to be sufficient for the trees, thus saving water in the process.
The data collected from these fours protocols are important to understand the amount of water collected and the quality of irrigation within the project. This information is crucial for evaluating the efficiency of different irrigation systems and improving water collection strategies. It will also allow a better understanding of seasonal trends and to take into account meteorological phenomena for optimal water management.