A 97-YEAR-OLD Canary Islander man is being credited with inventing the prototype for a revolutionary way of collecting water from mist as it condenses.
Tadeo Casañas came up with his plan after his small island of El Hierro in the Canaries went without rain in 1948.
After being awakened by water dripping through the heather roof of a hut he had built high up in the fog-shrouded hills where he had gone to hunt, he crafted a makeshift water collection system.
He cut various branches to collect the condensate then constructed an aqueduct to a cistern, before installing a pipe that delivered 14 litres a minute and helped save his village.
“They called me ‘the wise man of El Hierro’,” said Tadeo. “Now, I am dying. But I bother people with questions. Because I want to learn more.”
The modern version of Tadeo’s plan was invented by Venezuelan Ricardo Gil.
His Agua de Niebla de Canarias company have created aluminium structures capable of collecting 35,000 litres of water a day from an area of only 350 square metres.