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Agriculture Waterboxx5

Published on May 29th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

4

Inventor Uses Biomimicry to Create Dew

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May 29th, 2010 by  

In harsh and inhospitable environments, with hot days and cold nights, this invention creates a temperate and moist earthen nursery for protecting and nurturing seeds into trees with a self replenishing source of drip irrigation. It is a plant incubator that’s designed to cool faster than the night air, creating condensation.

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The way nature sows seeds is ingenious. Birds eat the seed, their digestion process partly breaks them down, then they excrete them. The excretions blocks soil evaporation above the seed, providing a moist growing medium for the young plant.

That environment inspires this Popular Science Invention Award-winning Groasis Waterboxx by Lily grower Pieter Hoff.

A circular container half filled with water (one time only) encourages condensation and dew and surrounds the earth that the seed is planted in. It doesn’t evaporate away because it is enclosed. In the center of the bucket there is a tube of earth, that is cooled and kept moist, in which you plant the seed or sapling.

A candle-like wick on the bottom of the box slowly drips small doses of the water into the soil and root system, and is replaced each night by condensation that forms on the grooves on the top and runs down into the holding tank, replacing the water lost to the drip irrigation.

This is a potentially worldchanging invention.

“In some dry areas, like in Eritrea, the average rainfall is even 1000 liters per m2 a year. Normally that water would evaporate in no time, but the Groasis waterboxx does not allow this and immediately stores it!”

As the Dutch inventor’s (translated) website enthuses:  “Some hundreds of years ago the biggest part of dry land in the world was wooded. Yes! Even mountain slopes and most of the deserts”.

“Spain was one big forest. Even that big dry eroded belt south of the Sahara (for example the Sahel) was wooded. The bare dry stony Apennines in the centre of Italy had thickly wooded slopes. This kind of areas could be found all over the world. So we are not talking about prehistoric times. On the geological timescale we are talking about yesterday. That is why we do have water available in these areas.”

We just have to capture it. That’s what this does.

Source: Popular Science

Image: Groasis

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Zulema Glassburn

    Good luck everybody! – I will come back again. Are you on facebook or twitter? Will like to follow you.

  • Hephaestus

    This invention was in use in the 1970’s. It was two plastic bags and a rock.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

      Sounds workable. Very sustainable too: as the world has no shortage of plastic bags.

  • Jacob

    This is very cool. Creating forests in deserts is a net carbon capture, all the better if the trees become vanguard species to allow for other flora.

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