It sounds counter-intuitive (dry water?), but Sonoma-based DriWater's innovative product — a gelatinous substance consisting of 98% purified water and 2% cellulose gum — does just that: provide an irrigation solution that delivers a reliable source of moisture directly to a plant's roots, when needed, without requiring a permanent water source.
When placed in the ground, the DriWater gels are inserted into tubes buried next to the roots of a young plant. Enzymes naturally produced by the bacteria found in the soil then begin to break down the cellulose holding the gels together — resulting in the gel converting to liquid and being released directly to the plant's root zone. Each gel tube provides about 2-3 months' worth of moisture for the plant — each quart of the product is equivalent to approximately 6-8 quarts of liquid water because of the minute amount lost to evaporation or runoff.Its benefits are obvious: not only does it help conserve water, it could also make farming in areas prone to droughts possible and help support large-scale reforestation efforts. It eliminates the need for conventional irrigation in areas where the method isn't feasible, cuts down on soil erosion and minimizes leaching.
Via ::QUEST Community Science Blog: Dry water? (blog)