Innovation That Matters

Ancient irrigation technique waters plants for a month

Work & Lifestyle

Egyptian company Clayola’s tiny handmade clay pots use gravity to water plants for up to a month and can be connected to create a larger irrigation system.

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Using a classical North African watering technique, Clayola’s small, handmade clay pots use gravity to release the exact amount of water needed at just the right time for the nearby plant. Using skilled artisans to make the pots, each order consists of six of the three by five inch clay cones. A colorful glazed top prevents water from evaporating, and two nozzles allow hoses to be connected for refills and water collection.

The cones are inserted into the ground near the plants, and just as the soil begins to get dry, the pots release the necessary amount of water. The source of water must be situated higher than the pots to allow gravity to pull down the water when needed. The Clayola team recommends using the water that drips out of traditional air conditioners as a constant, environmentally friendly source of irrigation. A set of Clayola cones costs less than USD 30, and shipping is available worldwide at a variety of rates.

Increasing sustainability is a challenge for all businesses in every industry, and one aspect of doing so is finding new ways to solve old problems. Looking at how our ancestors managed is one solution. A 4,000-year-old cooling technique has been used to create refrigerators that don’t require electricity, and the need to find ways to make more efficient use of finite resources is driving innovation like the domed roofing system that collects water as well as cools buildings. Where else could new low-tech solutions make significant differences in improving sustainability?

Image source: Clayola



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