Due to growing population, increased economic wealth and climate change, water shortage is becoming a larger problem every year. Reservoirs are falling dry, farmers lose crops and communities start migrating in search for water. In fact, the United Nations expect that by 2050, half the world’s population will experience water stress.
In addition, the amount of soil degradation and desertification is increasing every year. forests are disappearing, turning fertile fields into barren lands with deserts expanding globally. Contributing to CO2-levels rising at alarming rates.
According to the United Nations and the IPCC, tree planting is one of the most efficient ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, desertification and biodiversity loss. When done right.
As reforestation is taking giant leaps – think of the BONN challenge, the Trillion Tree campaign and numerous offsetting initiatives by corporations and wealthy individuals – high seedling mortality rates due to water shortage is a common phenomenon. Many seedlings do not survive the first dry seasons because they do not yet haven’t developed a sufficiently robust root system. Especially in the drier, warmer, degraded lands where deserts are threatening to take over and rains become increasingly unpredictable. We consider these areas to be one of the most important to reforest.
Current water provision solutions like irrigation systems, fog catchers or atmospheric water generators are either capital intensive, require massive piping networks, cost a lot of energy, have large environmental footprints and/or have regional limitations.
Although invisible to human eyes, air contains large quantities of water. While it is obviously dispersed, the atmosphere contains 12 quadrillion litres of water vapour. Which is close to 10 times the water we have in all the rivers combined. This evaporated water forms our well-known clouds and brings us rain. In dry areas, few clouds form and little rain falls. Nevertheless, many animals and plants in dry coastal regions, rely on humid air as their main source of water. The Namibian Desert Beetle has hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas on its skin to collect water. Desert spider webbing catches and absorbs water from air. The Sponsh technology is based on this natural phenomenon and can be used to regreen our planet.