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Dutch Innovation Uses 90% Less Water to Help Grow Plants in the World's Driest Regions

The Waterboxx plant cocoon technology has kept a plant in full bloom during the high temperature of Santa Helena. Dutch businessman Pieter Hoff developed this method in 2003.

Kritika Madhukar
Waterboxx plant cocoons can replace drip irrigation while using 90% less water
Waterboxx plant cocoons can replace drip irrigation while using 90% less water

A plant is in full bloom on Ecuador's scorching peninsula of Santa Helena, where daily radiation levels reach 8,000 joules. The Gmelina Arborea that grows here thrives despite the saline breezes, scorching temperatures of 41 degrees Celsius, and average precipitation of 111mm.

The Waterboxx plant cocoon technology, invented by Dutch businessman Pieter Hoff, has made this possible. He withdrew from his lily and tulip export business in 2003 and developed this method to enable various plants to grow in arid environments. Groasis is now involved in projects including reforestation and ecological restoration.

Green Oasis in the Desert

The harsh Santa Helena region isn't the only place where Groasis' technology is allowing vegetation to flourish. Greenery is flourishing in Canada, Dubai, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and many other countries due to technological advances.

Groasis Technologies is involved in several projects, two of which are targeted at assisting plants in arid environments. The Waterboxx plant cocoon and the Growboxx plant cocoon are the two types. Both approaches give plants the essential water and nutrients until they can sustain themselves.

Issues with the Standard Drip Irrigation System

There are two issues with the standard drip irrigation system used in agriculture. One is the large amount of water consumed per tree every day, ranging from 15 to 50 liters. The other issue is heat-induced evaporation. Drip irrigation is not only difficult in dry arid places where temperatures reach extremes and water is scarce, but it also imposes a strain on resources.

Waterboxx Plant Cocoons

Waterboxx plant cocoons can replace drip irrigation while using 90% less water. This invention works on a straightforward principle. Rainwater enters the Waterboxx and is collected in the chamber. Through a wick that enters into the ground, the collected water drips into the plant's root system. These roots penetrate deeper into the ground and thus become self-sufficient as the plant expands.

According to Groasis, the handy gadget is composed of polypropylene, making it reusable up to ten times. The setup can be removed and reused for another seed after nine to twelve months.

The method has a dual advantage, according to Groasis' research, in that it is an organic manner of producing plants because it does not utilize pesticides. Furthermore, the seedlings sown by this method have a high rate of survival.

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