American invention award for Dutch Waterboxx

The Groasis Waterboxx designed by the Dutch company AquaPro has received an invention award from the American journal Popular Science. The Dutch consulate-general in San Francisco helped to bring the product to the notice of the Californian authorities and industry.

The Groasis Waterboxx designed by the Dutch company AquaPro has received an invention award from the American journal Popular Science. The Dutch consulate-general in San Francisco helped to bring the product to the notice of the Californian authorities and industry.

A year ago, Pieter Hoff, director of AquaPro, contacted the consulate-general about the Waterboxx. This led to its adoption by major vineyards in Sonoma County and Napa Valley. Among the entrepreneurs who have embraced this new Dutch technology is Robert Mondavi, who runs the largest winery in California. The consulate-general was also involved in a conservation project whereby 600 seventh-grade students used the Waterboxx to plant seedlings in the Palm Springs desert.

The Waterboxx has the potential to solve the problem of drought and erosion. It is a sort of plant incubator that can be used to restore fertility to desiccated soil, including deserts, with little effort and at low cost. The device traps rainwater and condensation. It is placed around saplings and seedlings, increasing their survival chances and growth rates, and is removed as soon as the trees or plants are established. The Waterboxx is suitable for use with all manner of crops with economic potential, including those grown for food, timber, medicinal use and oil extraction.