Desert water supply, desert water search, groundwater, indicators of desert water availability.

Finding water in the desert is difficult, but not as hopeless as it might seem at first glance. But where to look for water, if, around, it would seem, there is not a single sign of it: no tree, no bush, only endless chains of yellow-brown sand hills of dunes? 

Desert water supply, desert water search, groundwater, desert water availability indicators.

However, sometimes it’s worth digging a little deeper in the lowlands of an old dried-up riverbed or in a hollow at the foot of the dune from the leeward side and good luck will come. At first, at a depth of one or two meters, dark, damp sand will appear, and after a while the dug hole will gradually fill the groundwater.

. But the lower long, narrow ones resemble willow in shape.

But interestingly, the fleshy poplar leaf feels cool to the touch. And this is not a deception of touch. Just as a result of intense evaporation from the surface of the sheet, it is really cooler than the surrounding air by several degrees. A good water indicator is a wild watermelon. Its small green balls, reminiscent of the color of an ordinary watermelon, dozens lie among the dried lashes. And although even a starving traveler is unlikely to dare to taste these bitter fruits like hina, their presence in the desert is a sign of desired moisture. Typically, an aquifer is located somewhere at a very shallow depth.

In addition to natural water sources in the deserts there are artificial ponds wells. This they support the forces of people and animals during the many days of grueling transitions on the sandy ocean. The well is usually located not far from the caravan road, but it is so carefully sheltered from the sun that an inexperienced person can walk a stone’s throw, unaware of its existence. The proximity of the well can be recognized by a number of signs: a path that goes away from the caravan’s parking lot, a path trampled by traces of numerous animals, or an arrow formed by the merger of two paths; dirty, gray sand covered with sheep or camel droppings.

In the deserts and highlands of Central Asia, on the side of a caravan road, on mountain passes, you can see a high pile of stones with dry branches sticking out in different directions, to which colorful rags, ribbons, and mutton bones are attached. This is the sacred sign of ob. Often close to it is a healing spring. To relieve the situation of a person in distress in rocky deserts, dew, which falls abundantly in the morning, helps. If you stack pebbles and rubble in a pile, then in the morning you can collect some moisture that has settled on their surface. In deserts, sometimes there are small lakes, hollows filled with water that has a salty or soapy taste. It is unsuitable for drinking.

Inorganic salts and other impurities contained in it (more than 4-5 g / l) cause acute intestinal disorders, which contribute to increased dehydration. Such water can only be used to wet clothes. This simple method significantly reduces body water loss. In the winter season, salt water is desalinated by freezing. To do this, the flask is filled with water and, allowing it to freeze by 2/3, the residue (brine) is drained. If the formed ice retains a salty taste, it must be melted and frozen again by 2/3. Repeated freezing usually leads to success..

Meanwhile, water in the desert can be obtained directly from the sand, using the so-called solar capacitors. The fact is that sand is never completely dry. Its capillary forces firmly hold a small amount of moisture, which, paradoxically, does not evaporate in the calcined desert-dried air of the desert.

The basis of the design of the solar capacitor is a thin film of transparent, hydrophobic (water-repellent) plastic. She covers a hole with a diameter of about a meter, dug in the ground to a depth of 50-60 cm. The edges of the film are sprinkled with sand or earth to create greater tightness..

The sun’s rays, penetrating through a transparent membrane, absorb moisture from the soil, which, evaporating, condenses on the inner surface of the film. They give the film a conical shape, putting a small weight in the center so that condensation drops flow into the water collector.

It is possible to extract water from it, without violating the design, using a special tube. One condenser can produce up to one and a half liters of water per day. To increase its productivity, the pit is half filled with freshly picked plants, shoots of a camel thorn, etc..

Based on materials from the book Man in extreme environmental conditions.
V.G. Volovich.

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