Saturday, March 10, 2012

Been Hiding under a Rock?... Find the Groasis Waterboxx

Groasis Waterboxx  ©AquaPro
I guess I DO live under a rock, because this terrific sustainable tech product has been around about 4 years, and I only stumbled on it about 3 months ago. I've been incubating the possibilities in my mind since then, and after a second review of the system recently, I still think the Groasis Waterboxx™ is the best product to support worldwide sustainable food production to come along in many, many years. (ps... I have no financial interest in this company, nor receive any remuneration from writing about it.)

As the Manufacturer says, "It's nothing more than an exceptionally well-designed bucket" that will grow trees even in the desert!

Groasis Waterboxx via Popular Science  ©AquaPro

Popular Science selected it as the 2010 Best of What's New, Innovation of the Year.

"This "waterboxx" is an ‘intelligent water battery’ that produces and captures water FROM THE AIR through condensation and occasionally a tiny bit of rain. The condensation is caused by artificial stimulation and the water is captured through physical capacities, without using energy.

The “Groasis” waterbox makes it possible to plant trees or bushes on rocks, on mountains, in gardens, in ashes of recently burned woods, eroded areas or deserts or any other place, without the help of irrigation with a 100% planting result. In moderate climates the “Groasis” waterbox causes a 15 to 30% faster growth after the start. There is no other planting solution comparable to this.

It is a product that the inventor foresees as a means to help save mankind as the world's population soars, a plant incubator that doesn't need irrigating, and which could help make fertile again the 70% of the world's arid and semi-arid lands whose productivity has been hit by deforestation and over farming."  Source

How it works is pretty cool... you put down a seed or two (or 1-2 seedlings), put the Waterboxx base over it, add 3 gallons of water to the box and another gallon to the seeds/seedlings... add the cover, and forget about it for the rest of the year.

The planting tub drips about three tablespoons of water a day into the soil via a wick, sustaining the plant while encouraging its roots to grow deeper in search of more water. By forcing the tap root deeper it strengthens the tree for it's entire lifetime making it less prone to wind damage and more likely to tap deeper for drought protection.

Too much water and a tree will create a layer of surface roots to maximize water consumption. These shallow roots, however, will bake and dry out whenever artificial watering stops.

Too little water and the tree dies.

Just enough water keeps the tree alive, but searching for more water - by sending the roots in the one direction that water can always be found - down.

Once these roots reach the aquifer, even if it is a seasonal aquifer, there is normally enough water to sustain the dry season.

I'm only surprised that such results can be reached in a single year!

Since I don't think I can adequately describe why it works, here's some text courtesy of :

The Groasis waterbox - using natural principles

Capillary: in each soil is capillary water. As soon as the sun shines on the soil, the capillary dries up. The Groasis waterbox prevents this. Do a test at home in your garden: lift a stone during the hottest days and look at the difference between the soil beside the stone and under the stone. Under the stone the soil is damp or wet.

Rain: almost every place on Earth has rain. Even in the middle of the Sahara it is 50 mm per year. That is 50 litre per square meter. In most of the so called deserts or savannahs it is around 250 mm. That is 250 litre per
square meter. The problem of this rain is that it falls in 2 days, and it all evaporates within a week. So the problem is not a lack of water, but the capture and distribution of the water over a year's period of time. The Groasis waterboxx captures this rainwater and distributes it via an ingenious stand-alone system over the year to the tree.

Condensation: everywhere in the world where there is a minimum of relative humidity, and when surfaces are able to get colder than the air temperature, there is condensation. Two examples: 1) if you are cooking in winter and the warm air of your room touches the cold glass of the windows they will be wet. In Summer this phenomenon does not happen. 2) if you walk with glasses from the outside where it is cold into a warm place, your glasses will be covered with condensation. This is the phenomenon that the Groasis waterbox uses: during the night the temperature of the surface is able to drop lower than the surrounding air due to radiation. Due to the temperature difference between the surface of the Groasis waterbox and the air, the air is locally cooled down below its dew point. Now the air condensates at the surface of the Groasis waterbox and it gets wet. Because of its design which stimulates the production and collection of the condensation, the Groasis waterbox produces condensation daily. So the Groasis waterbox does NOT only collect dew, but also enhances the generation of it. To conclude: the Groasis waterbox produces on an artificial basis condensation that develops against its cold surface. Dew is the condensation of air humidity that develops when warm air is crimping.

Distribution: the produced and collected water is distributed in small daily dosages via a small wick throughout the year or even for a longer period, to the plant.

Avoid evaporation: the biggest loss of water is evaporation. That is why irrigation via tubes or sprinklers are so ineffective. The Groasis waterbox covers the place where the tree is planted. Therefore the capillary cannot evaporate nor the distributed water either. This means that the Groasis waterbox stimulates a 100% effective use of the added water. Compare this to irrigation: only between 10 to 20% of the added water is really used, the rest evaporates.

Use of capillary: in nature seed is spread by grazing animals and birds. The seeds are sown ON TOP OF the soil. This is not a coincidence! In nature, coincidence does not exist, everything has its reason. The manure pastes the seed to the soil. In this way the capillary makes the seed humid, stimulating it to put a small root directly into the soil, giving it direct access to the available capillary humidity, allowing it to further grow. The Groasis waterbox planted with seeds copies this process: it does not disturb the soil and therefore maintains the existing capillary structure of the soil. Without capillary the soil would dry out to dust and erode.

Temperature balancing: the buffer of water in the Groasis waterbox functions as an equalizer of the soil temperature. Avoiding extreme temperatures stimulates growth.

Here's what happens with the sun's movement over the waterboxx..



I will tell you upfront that these planters are not too cheap. Bought in quantities of 10, they are $27.50 USD each... BUT, if you consider they are reusable for new trees/shrubs/plants for 10 years (or more), that brings down the cost PER TREE to under $3.00. I can't tell you how many expensive trees and shrubs I've lost over the years, but it's quite a lot of money. If I were planting trees up on the hill above my house, these would more than pay for themselves, because I surely WILL NOT carry water up that steep hill!!

It is amazing to see the possibilities we have available to provide all basic necessities for humanity. "Money" is pretended to be the constraint, but its only because providing trees would hardly be profitable for any financier. That’s why this kind of thing doesn't happen enough. We need to realize we have to use every resource, including money, to be efficient and sustainable.

Video Links:
Growing Vegetables in Desert Conditions

Video channel with many Groasis videos

Here's what a South African Dealer has to say.


  1. Super cool! I hadn't come across these before, either. It seems like they could be used anywhere but would be most beneficial in dry climates. And well worth the price!

  2. I too came across this technology when reading Popular Science, and I was impressed enough that I began selling it in the United States. I have had great success and have documented more about the Waterboxx on I would love any feedback you have on my site (you can comment) or my sales website


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