Monday, December 23, 2013

Growing Grapes without Irrigation (and with the Groasis Waterboxx)

Wine is one of the hallmark beverages of civilization, and for most people drinking it is a everyday luxury.  However, rarely do we think about the amount of inputs that go into one bottle of wine.  Vineyards are frequently located in arid regions, and these vines are frequently irrigated.  The Economist recently published a piece about the amount of irrigation water that goes into making one liter of wine.  The result - approximately 950 liters of water go into every liter of wine, or over 700 liters of water per 0.75 liter bottle of wine.  This means over 175 gallons of water go to make less than one quart of wine.

Water shortage is unfortunately going to be one of the defining characteristics of the Twenty-First Century.  Surely there must be a better way to grow grapes than with traditional irrigation that wastes so much water.  Luckily, there is - The Groasis Waterboxx .  The Groasis Waterboxx is an ingenious invention by a Dutchman named Pieter Hoff.  The Waterboxx is a self-recharging water battery for trees - it collects dew water each night (and rain when it happens to fall), directs a small amount to the roots of a growing plant, in this case grape vines.  The roots grow deep to underground water, and the Waterboxx prevents evaporation of the moisture in the soil immediately around the grape vine.  In this way the Waterboxx greatly helps to conserve water.  The one year results of grape growing with the Waterboxx can be seen below.  The Waterboxx requires water only during initial set up.  The inventor recommends 8-12 gallons be slowly poured on the planting site, then 4 gallons be placed in the reservoir (green basin) to be slowly released.  You can learn more about the Waterboxx at our parent website, Dew Harvest. The incredible results of the Waterboxx in the desert, growing grapes, is seen below.  
Grape vines two months after planting with the Groasis Waterboxx. (Photo courtesy of

The same grapes 4 months after planting with the Waterboxx; significant growth is already evident. (Photo courtesy of

The vines continue to grow 6 months after planting.  (Photo courtesy of

The same grape vines twelve months after planting.  The Waterboxxes were not refilled during this time, but collected dew and rainwater and funneled this to the roots of the growing plant.  The Waterboxx will stay in place indefinitely for these vines (it lasts up to 10 years), further assisting in watering of these grapes. (Photo courtesy of

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