Water-Saving Device is Invention of Year

Groasis Waterboxx is declared 2010 Popular Science Invention of the Year.

Published on: Dec 1, 2010

The Groasis Waterboxx featured in the December 2010 California Farmer ("Water-saving invention," page 7) became the first agriculture company to take home the top Popular Science prize. The Waterboxx is being tested at the Robert Mondavi Winery and elsewhere in California.

Sweeping all 11 categories of Popular Science "Best of What's New-2010" and winning Innovation of the Year and Green Tech Grand Award, the Groasis Waterboxx left in its wake such business giants as Apple, Porsche, GE, Panasonic, Intel, Ford and 117 others.

How has a small Dutch company won against such prestigious global giants? The Waterboxx, the size of a motorcycle tire, has the ability to solve deforestation and hunger while conserving our water resources. It produces and captures water from air through condensation without using energy. Water condenses on the uniquely designed top and is stored to hydrate the seed or sapling planted underneath through a candle-like wick protruding from the bottom of the box. This leaves the roots thirsty and forces a primary root to grow deep to the water table. Hand watering or irrigation is not needed. After one year or less, the box is easily removed and reused. Dutch inventor Pieter Hoff says, "I am happy that this award will let the public know that it is not too late to reverse the problem predicted for the future."

The Groasis Waterboxxes were used to plant 500 chardonnay winegrape vines at Robert Mondavi Winery. Photo by Morton BeebeĀ©Morton Beebe/AquaPro
The Groasis Waterboxxes were used to plant 500 chardonnay winegrape vines at Robert Mondavi Winery. Photo by Morton BeebeĀ©Morton Beebe/AquaPro

The remarkable feature of the Waterboxx is that now plants can grow and restore clear cut, eroded, over grazed, mined, arid, burned or destroyed lands.

Hoff's dream is to reforest the 5 billion acres that have been deforested by mankind over the last 2,000 years. Hoff adds: "The cutting of trees for lumber, animal grazing and mining, etc. has destroyed and eroded an area the size of Canada. If this area was small enough to cut, it is also small enough to replant."

Using the Waterboxx, Hoff aspires to plant desertified land with food-producing trees, bushes and vegetables. The production of food from an additional 5 billion acres of trees also helps solve the climate problem. Hoff continues: "The Tree solution is simple. If we unbind more CO2 atoms from the air by planting trees, then the climate problem is solved. Forests can breathe in enormous quantities of CO2 and give enormous quantities of oxygen in return. One acre of trees unbinds an average 2 tons of CO2 molecules into harmless C and O atoms. The C atoms are fixed in wood and the O atoms are put in the air. So if we plant 5 billion extra acres of trees producing food, then these trees unbind 10 billion extra tons of CO2. That's more than we pollute."