A new system to capture and manage water inspired by bees, spiders, fungi and plants

With the anticipated population increase in mind and its increasing concentration in cities, a team of experts has designed a system to capture rainwater and humidity, and manage it effectively in urban crops, the evolution of the classic fog catcher. . The secret of the success of the innovation, awarded with the Ray of Hope 2017, is that he has taken his inspiration from nature, specifically from bees, spiders, fungi and plants.

To shape a system that was suitable for urban growers, and therefore fully adaptable and self-sufficient, NexLoop naturally sought the answers it needed. With this, when wondering how to freely capture the water present in the atmosphere, the team focused their attention on how spiders weave cobwebs that absorb water from fog.

After replicating this natural mechanism in its design, the next step of the team led by Jacob Russo, Anamarija Frankic and C. Mike Lindsey was to respond to how to store the water captured passively. For this, in this case the inspiration came from the plants most resistant to drought, such as the ground anemone, scientifically known as Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, from which they learned how to retain water to survive in the most arid conditions.

Moving forward with its innovation, another issue that the team had to solve was how to distribute the water once captured. Again, nature illustrated them. Specifically, in this case it was the mycorrhizal fungi that helped to continue shaping the system, given its importance to transport water and nutrients and contribute them to the nearby species that need them.

With all the above, to close the design was only to find the solid structure that gave shape to the whole. And at this point it was the bees that gave the solution, since the system took as a model the hexagonal structures of honeycombs, both for its efficiency and its modular design.

So, with these sources, the result has been a system that will allow urban producers to save energy and be much more resistant to any unforeseen. Specially designed to provide water to urban growing areas, such as greenhouses, vertical gardens or production areas in containers, AquaWeb aims to respond to a challenge of great magnitude: that it is possible to guarantee food to a growing and increasingly concentrated population in cities.

Thus, the design and development of this system is based on forecasts such as the following: it is estimated that the population of the earth will rise to 9.000 million people in 2050, year in which, in addition, 7 of each 10 will reside in urban areas . How to produce safe and sufficient food in cities? And this is, precisely, the doubt that this team tries to alleviate with AquaWeb, which, according to its slogan, will provide "Renewable water for sustainable food".

Source: portalfruticola.com

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