Climate change adaptation: 4 unconventional water sources for dry areas

climate change - climateaction

Climate change adaptation: 4 unconventional water sources for dry areas

Climate change may be affecting many communities across the globe, but some have it worse than others.

Some communities, by the nature of their geographical location and climate, have had to go through certain unpleasant conditions to survive. But with climate change, these conditions have worsened.

Seeing as water scarcity is one of the major climate risks affecting people as traditional sources like rainfalls, groundwater, river runoff, and snowfall is being affected by climate change in some areas and supplies shrink because of growing demand, it then becomes necessary to seek alternatives.

Below are four unconventional water resources that can be tapped with the help of a diverse range of technological and innovative interventions.

Seawater desalination

Desalination is the process of removing salt from seawater or underground water so as to make it fit for drinking.

This will be an unconventional and constant supply of clean water and enable communities with limited water supply, source water beyond what is available from the water cycle.

Thanks to technological advancements desalinating seawater is becoming more popular and has been rapidly growing faster.

As this process advances, the cost of desalination is expected to decrease and more communities are expected to rely on desalinated water because of its falling costs.


For dry communities where fog concentration is high and occurs constantly, this is another sure source of generating drinking water.

Since water is embedded in fog, it can be retrieved by using a vertical mesh that catches the droplet stream. The water then trickles down into a system that collects it, stores it, and distributes it.

Collecting fog water is an eco-friendly and cheap means of supplying drinking water. However, it requires the active engagement of local communities and technical support from local institutions.

The success of this system of water generation depends on the geography and topography of the community which needs to be conducive enough for the best fog capturing.

Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding is a technique aimed at modifying the weather so as to improve the cloud’s ability to produce rain or snow.

This is done by artificially adding condensation nuclei to the atmosphere which serves as a base for raindrops or snowflakes to form. After cloud seeding has taken place, precipitation then falls from the clouds back to the surface of the earth.

Rain enhancement via cloud seeding has the potential to increase the volume of water available for capturing from the air. This is also a good way of increasing rainfall in dry areas.


Since dry areas receive little rainfall, it, therefore, becomes important not to let even the littlest drops go to waste. That is why micro-catchment rainwater capturing may help in retrieving the water on the ground that would ordinarily evaporate.

Micro-catchment rainwater harvesting systems are of two major types: capturing water through rooftop systems where runoff is gathered and stored. The water is then used for domestic activities or to feed livestock.

The second is capturing water for agriculture which entails collecting rainwater runoff in a reservoir.

Bottom line

By harnessing the many potentials of unconventional water sources, communities in dry areas can become resilient and adapt to climate change.

These communities need to seek and promote these unconventional sources as they are not only environmentally feasible but are also economically viable and drive the achievement of water-related sustainable development.

Related Post