Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gutter Island

Large inverted umbrella collects offshore rainwater
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Beginning with enormous fabric that is about the size of a bunch of hot air balloons, the fabric is stitched together and a liquid repellent nano-coating is applied. The fabric is tethered to a structure similar to an umbrella to hoist the fabric above tides while a chute is connected in the center to allow the water to collect.

The structure does not interrupt waterways as it is able to converge vertically when no rain is in sight to protect the elements. There is also a ballast that pumps out seawater as rainwater collects offsetting the buoyancy so that it can be relocated to optimize rainwater collection. It can either be anchored and towed or fit with its own propeller and navigation system guided by GPS.

The rainwater can be extracted either by connecting a pipeline for uninterrupted usage and stowed on a vessel then emptied into a reservoir and used for crops, etc.

jamm3r, Feb 03 2012


       Yes but... how much rain will it collect? 100 acres is a lot of fabric, yet the same amount of rain falling on the land is collected conveniently by rivers or works its way into groundwater.   

       If rain falls equally on land and sea (and I have no idea whether it does or not), then shirley the umbrellas would have to have a total surface area of at least a few percent that of the country they supply, to have any real impact?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 03 2012

       This sounds way too expensive. You'd be better off floating it on the sea.   

       Picture a layer of plastic, above which is a layer of bubble wrap, the two separated around the edge by an inflatable ring - like a vast version of an emergency life-raft. The bubble wrap floats on the fresh water (to reduce evaporation), and the whole thing floats on the sea (conveniently exploiting the lower density of fresh water). One or more holes (possibly weighted to form a local depression) allow rain to enter.
spidermother, Feb 03 2012

       //Picture a layer of plastic, above which is a layer of bubble wrap,......//   

       What??? What a dismal thing to picture - may I recommend an alternative? Picture instead a steep hillside dotted with olive trees, swooping gracefully down to a timeless and secluded bay, where azure waters lap gently on white sands, as a barnacle- encrusted piece of grey-brown driftwood ebbs and flows with the waves.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 03 2012

       Damn, I'm getting a new guru.
spidermother, Feb 03 2012

       The collected rainwater would still be contaminated with salt spray; not much, but probably enough to make it impotable. That's one reason why oceangoing vessels have always required covered cisterns. The other is evaporation, which would also lessen effeciency to a fair degree.
Alterother, Feb 03 2012

       What I'm picturing is a semi-submerged, tangled and torn mass of plastic along with the crumpled remnants of support structures all being pounded against a rocky shoreline somewhere after the first big storm. The ocean is a harsh mistress, my friend.
AusCan531, Feb 03 2012

       A very realistic assesment. My own troubleshooting was based on the assumption of calm seas and favorable weather--a risky assumption, at best.
Alterother, Feb 04 2012

       Annoyed at the title!
Zimmy, Feb 15 2012


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