Image of the Waterboxx from the AquaPro Holland website.
It appears to be just a run of the mill, regular, rectangular plastic bucket with a whole in the centre, but the Waterboxx is actually a sophisticated design that traps night time condensation. Those dewey drops along with the little rain that falls in arid areas is distributed in small doses to the seed or young tree inside. This seemingly simple invention could have some amazing implications. According to its inventors:
The Waterboxx is an instrument that supports plants and trees in order to survive in difficult circumstances without using any groundwater or electricity. The instrument collects water by catching rainwater and producing and catching water from condensation. It subsequently distributes over a long(er) period the collected water to the tree placed in the centre.
Trees are actually planted (from seed, plant or tree) on top of the soil and their roots spread under the Waterboxx. Tests they ran by planting trees in the Moroccan Sahara showed that 90% of the trees planted using this big, green box survived while those planted on their own didn't eventhough they were watered every week.
This ingenious device could play an important role in reforesting burnt or felled forests and in places like China where desertification is eating up an area the side of Rhode Island every year. We have hope and are imagining the Moroccan Sahara lined with these green boxes.
The Waterboxx was invented by Pieter Hoff, a Dutch businessman and inventor. It has won the Beta Dragons Award during the Flying Dutchman 2008, Science & Technology Summit in Amsterdam. The jury proclaimed his design to be "the most promising and innovative project." Its inventor "is convinced that, if the right species are planted, large parts of the earth can be reforested, without sacrificing agricultural land." Via: PRNewswire
More on Desertification:
China Being Submerged in Sand: Desertification Spareads 1,300 Square Miles Per Year
Good Growing Regions Drying Up in Turkey
"Walls of Trees" Planned to Help Stop Sahara Desert from Expanding
TerrAfrica: Combating Desertification