Plant incubation system harvests water in arid environments

Edit Hook

Designed by Pieter Hoff, the Groasis waterboxx is a 20-inch by 10-inch box that serves as an incubator to help trees survive through the initial part of their growing cycle. The smartly designed container incubates one tree at a time, creating ideal growing conditions for the protected plant. The waterboxx design provides protection for the young seedling from wind and excessive sunlight. It is filled with water just once, and thereafter captures additional water resources through the collection of rainwater and condensation. A wick delivers small amounts of water to the plant’s root system each day. The water stored in the container also helps to buffer the effects of thermal variation, protecting the plant from temperature extremes. The Groasis waterboxx is currently available in two kinds of materials: polypropylene and biopolymer. Polypropylene boxes are more durable and last at least 10 years, incubating an average of one plant per year. The boxes made with biopolymers are intended to nurture only one plant and then biodegrade, providing nutrients to the growing plant.

Biomimicry Story

The design of the Groasis waterboxx is based on the way nature sows seeds.  Animals ingest plants and then excrete the seeds on top of the soil. The surrounding feces functions as a cover while the seed develops roots and taps into water resources necessary for further development.  Learn more about how it works here.

Challenges Solved

The design of the Groasis waterboxx eliminates the need for irrigation or additional water input, allowing it to work in regions without access to these resources. The waterboxx is also effective in arid regions, rocky areas, and poor or degraded soils, giving it great potential for reforestation applications. In tests carried out in the Sahara Desert, 88% of trees planted with the Groasis waterboxx survived, compared with only 10% planted using traditional cultivation methods.

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