Our books:

I. Mylymuk & D. Beysens:
"A la poursuite des Fontaines Aériennes"

on www.book-e-book.com or www.amazon.fr

Erik Orsenna:
"L'avenir de l'eau, petit précis de mondialisation"

on www.amazon.fr

G. Sharan:
"Dew Harvest To Supplement Drinking Water Sources in Arid Coastal Belt of Kutch"

on "Foundation Books"

P. Admirat, B. Dalle, J.-L. Lapeyre :
"Neige collante, givre, pluie verglaçante sur les lignes électriques"

EDF, France, 2006.

Berkowicz, S.M., Rautenbach, R. & Jana Olivier, J.:
"Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Fog, Fog Collection and Dew, Cape Town, South Africa, 11-15 October 2004"

Atmospheric Research, Vol 87, pp 199-388, 2008.

D. Beysens, I. Mylymuk, A. Dejoan:
"Rocío y sereno, otras fuentes de agua, CAPTACIÓN DE PRECIPITACIONES HORIZONTALES Y ESCORRENTÍAS EN ZONAS SECAS: Hidrología de Conservación de Aguas"

Universidad de Valladolid, Secretario de Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial, Serie: CIENCIAS 25, 2009.

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        OPUR IN CROATIA (from archives)

The first time, OPUR went to Croatia in October 2002. The goal of this trip was two-fold: Primo, we initiated a project for dew condenser installation on the Adriatic coast, in particular on islands with a Mediterranean climate. One of the distinctive characteristics of these islands is the almost - total absence of sources of drinking water. This project will make it possible to compare the dew data with the condenser already established on the island of Corsica where the north Mediterranean Basin climate and weather conditions are similar.
Secundo, in Croatia there is a story of particular interest to dew collection that prompted OPUR to undertake this travel:
• A few months ago, OPUR received a letter from an Australian historian, Klaus Neumann. Klaus Neumann is currently writing up the biography of a German physicist and philosopher of the XXth century, Wolf Klaphake. Klaphake left Germany in 1935, and the documents concerning his activity before the 2nd World War remain incomplete, unknown or untraceable. According to certain testimonies, and his article "Practical Methods for Condensation of Water from the Atmosphere" (in Proceedings of the Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria, vol. 36, 1936, p. 1102), he built some atmospheric water condensers on the island of Vis, in Croatia, during the period 1920-1930. Klaus Neumann has some documents confirming the construction of such dew condensers, in particular a postcard, addressed to Klaphake in 1938 by his German friends, who, after having visited Vis, reassures their friend, Wolf Klaphake, on the destiny of his condensers.
The contents of this postcard and the article from the "Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria" were sent to OPUR. According to these documents, two atmospheric water condensers were built in the surroundings of the city of Vis. One was situated near the Franciscan church, near the seaside and the other condenser on a small island at the entry of the Vis bay. The latter condenser was visible from the George III English fortress, itself located on a cape at the entry of the Vis bay.
Research was carried out on the island of Vis. Some results were obtained with difficulty, but are encouraging:
• The island of Vis (43°10' N, 16°10' E) is located in the south-eastern part of the country, in the Adriatic littoral, within 45 kilometers from the town of Split. It is the furthest island from the group of Central Dalmatian islands. Vis occupies a territory of about 220 km2, with a mountainous relief. Its climate is dry and hot in the summer, wet and moderate in the winter. Dew is abundant. The island of Vis hosts two small cities, Vis and Komiza, and some small villages. The island of Vis has been a military site since the end of Second World War and only quite recently is it open to foreigners. During antiquity, the island was inhabited by the Greeks. The ancient name of Vis was Issa. The island does not have natural sources of water. The ancient inhabitants of the island built systems to collect atmospheric water (rain and presumably fog and dew) that were used till the beginning of the last century. Remnants can be found in the surroundings of Vis and on the site of the ancient Issa. Collectors are paved surfaces located on the side of the hills surrounding the town of Vis, collecting atmospheric water into cisterns. Cisterns are 3-4 m diameter and 3-4 m deep. A curbstone is present, made of very large stones (1 x 1 x 1 m), with one of the large stones hollowed out at the surface, probably to be used as a water reservoir for animals or as a sink.

Structures collecting atmospheric precipitation:
(a) East of Vis city; (b)in the middle of Vis island; (c) in the antique Issa

The OPUR members, D. Beysens, M. Mileta and I. Milimouk, visited the museum of Vis (specially opened for this occasion), contacted some elderly inhabitants of the island, looked for possible witnesses of the aforesaid events and searched for the topographic locations of the places described in the old documents. The English fortress of George III and the Franciscan church were both located, which facilitated the identification of the probable site of the dew condensers.

Schematic structures collecting atmospheric precipitation of Vis island

• Mr. Jakov Matijasevic1, an inhabitant of Vis, born on 15 December 1914, and a contemporary of Klaphake, remembers well that a German (rare at that time), a very big man, 2 m height, with his wife, blonde and rather stout, using a boat of 4 m long, used to spend the summer in Vis during the 1920-30's. He set up devices to produce water from dew. Jakov Matijaševic indicated the site of the condenser, behind the Franciscan church, a place corresponding to the postcard description. However he said that the construction was not as large as indicated in the Klaphake paper (= 50 feet or 15 m high). This condenser is the ancient Issa, mostly covered by kitchen-gardens, behind the discotheque of the Issa hotel.
The second condenser should be located (according to the postcard) on the small island of Host, at the entry of the Vis bay. On the Host island is also located the lighthouse of Vis and the house of the lighthouse guard, now uninhabited.

The site of Vis city: (a) general view; (b) the Host island; (c) the Vis bay

Both places were explored2. At both sites similar remnants were discovered: circular stone constructions, joined by cement. The diameter is approximately 5-7 m. The only remains are the foundations. Two similar constructions, nearby the lighthouse, were found on the Host island. In one of the constructions a hole can be found at the base, as indicated in the Klaphake paper. The construction behind the church was recently cemented to make a cistern of it.
The constructions correspond roughly to the description of the article of "Chemical Industry of Victoria", but the dimension are much smaller. They seem to be the remnants of the Klaphake condensers3. The structures on the island of Host are indeed visible from the English fortress. The constructions also conform with the description of the Klaphake constructions as given by Jakov Matijaševic4. All signs indicate that the ruins should be those of the Klaphake's condensers. Nevertheless, we do not have any documentary confirmation (photo, etc.).

Ruins of condenser-like constructions:
(c) condenser on the Host island; showing a hole (d) in the basement; (e) schematic view.

Other indirect evidence of Wolf Klaphake's presence on the island of Vis was found. As the postcard testifies, Mr. Klaphake came to the island in summer to visit one of his friends, Mr. Dojmi. Mr. Dojmi was apparently very wealthy. His palace still exists in downtown Vis, although occupied by other inhabitants, foreigners to the Dojmi family5. The estate behind the discotheque, on the Issa antique site, also belonged to him. We also found on Host Island the ruins of one of his homes, which confirms the hypothesis that his guests had easy access to this island.

1 - M. Jakov Matijasevic, Lucko Brdo, Vis, Croatia. Born 15/12/1914.
2 - During the nights of October 26-27-28, 2002, heavy dew was experienced. The soil was wet, and small water puddles were observed on the limestone rocks of the island.
3 - Huts made with dry stone, without cement, are known to be constructed by the shepherds on Vis island. The dimensions are comparable. However, the shepherds did not use cement. The fact that cement was used in the ruined constructions would suggest they are the remnants of condensers.
4 - According to Jakov Matijaševic, the constructions of Klaphake were rather small. It should be noted that the ruins found were also small. They would correspond to condensers of maximum 5-7 m in diameter. The stones on the ground indicate that the condensers should be also 5–7 m in height. However, Klaphake indicates about 50 feet. Was it error or exaggeration? Or a typing error in the Proceedings of the Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria? A height of 5 feet (1.5 m) or 15 feet (4.5 m) would be more plausible.
5 - It is interesting to note that we were contacted during our visit by one of the descendants of Mr. Dojmi, the count M. Nikolaï Dojmi de Frankopan, who stayed on the island of Vis in order to try to buy the old "palazzio" of his ancestors. He was interested by our investigation, and he invited us to look in his family archives.


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