Dew Collector: Greenhouse for food growth, water

Dew Collector: Greenhouse for food growth, water

In Ethiopia, the University of Gondar's Faculty of Agriculture is actively involved in real-life problems that are familiar to many farmers on the continent. The university is pursuing research as well as development efforts and toward that end has entered links with an organization called Roots Up. The latter says it will build a workshop on the campus for farmers living nearby and facing tough issues and harsh living conditions. The organization said the center will be made out of "Earthbags."

They call the structure the "Ecodome," and the workshops will focus on such topics as water management and soil conservation. At the end of the day, Roots Up wants to accomplish a mission of helping to make the University of Gondar an "innovation hub for low-tech and low-cost solutions that can be developed on a larger scale in the rural areas of North Gondar." One project on the agenda is a "green" shelter for dew harvest. On Friday, Discovery News reported on a Roots Up-University of Gondar initiative called the Dew Collector greenhouse. This is a low-cost, low-tech greenhouse where vegetables can grow despite drought conditions.

It works at collecting dew by capturing evaporation in bio-plastic sheeting at the top of the dome.

Inhabitat said that in using this collector, can raise protected plants and yield clean water both for both irrigation and drinking. Instead of just performing as a greenhouse, the structure also serves as rainwater collector, ensuring that raindrops are stored.

Inhabitat said the organization plans to launch the Dew Collector greenhouses in Northern Ethiopia, in conjunction with the university. "The Dew Collector is just one part of the company's mission to help create a self-reliant farming community in Northern Ethiopia."

Mathilde Richelet of Roots Up wrote about the building's design this month on the Roots Up website. She affirmed its multifunctional purpose for growing food and producing water. "Inside," she said, "the hot air is trapped so the temperature in the greenhouse keeps rising throughout the day. The heat causes water to evaporate, creating air humidity making the greenhouse atmosphere better for plants' growth as well as maximizing the dew harvest." At evening, the farmer pulls out the rope to open the top of the greenhouse allowing it to cool, eventually reaching the dew point; "atmospheric water vapor condenses to form small droplets on the surface of the bioplastic sheet falling into the water tank container."

Dew Collector: Greenhouse for food growth, water

Richelet also reported on the group's field analysis exercise earlier on, when they had interviewed farmers about their practices. They learned that the greatest challenge mentioned by farmers was soil degradation, increasing over the years. "Several periods of drought have severely eroded the soils," she said. "Since they mainly grow cereal crops with very shallow root system, soil is more vulnerable to erosion."


Explore further

Biomimetic dew harvesters

More information: www.roots-up.org/

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Mar 21, 2015
Who would vote this down?

Mar 21, 2015
Imagine if all of the farming in the world used water reclamation.

Mar 21, 2015
Jeffhans1 asked
Imagine if all of the farming in the world used water reclamation.
Well, what would it achieve as we know fairly well that production, so far, hasn't been a limiting factor, its distribution and that means the time & cost of transport and that reliability is influenced by the spoilage factors ie That the food is viable at destination whether it be safety, texture & appearance.

In marginally producing areas it is helpful to have more water sure but, in existing well reticulated areas it won't make much difference unless there is more investment.

There is a major factor re CO2 & some food plants, the extra CO2 can shift the plants growth equilibria to produce cyanogens ie Cyanide poisons when cooked/ingested which demand more care.

This has already happened re Cassava in Africa & some crops for food for cattle can also do the same thing, such as Clover, so care is essential, costs of shifting to genetically modified adds costs re more CO2 :-(

Mar 21, 2015
Imagine if all of the farming in the world used water reclamation.


Imagine everyone but the elite dying.

Mar 21, 2015
If these are low tech and low cost solutions, why can't they do it them selves?

Mar 22, 2015
@Bongstar420

If these are low tech and low cost solutions, why can't they do it them selves?


Why can't you grow a brain---or at least learn to think.

Mar 22, 2015
Bongstar420 asked
If these are low tech and low cost solutions, why can't they do it them selves?
Having traveled reasonably well, including for 3 months in Sabah (East Malaysia) where I upgraded a shipping container based UPS in the jungles of Mendulong in 1998:-
http://members.ii...s/Power/

I can attest to the living patterns of the indigenous, their visitors & expectations, pre-occupations & most importantly education level - often imposed by governments to minimal essentials or starkly not aware just how valuable wider use of internet access can be.

That time, the jungle, first time in living memory suffered wildfires, in a place often very humid, dank & with abundant flowing water - the expectation one had to dig a well to survive was not self-evident, reliance on authority was.

Suffice to say, the scenario was far more complex than most could consider & I thus urge you to travel widely, do something useful & get essential experience.

Mar 23, 2015
Our carbon is from farming, more specifically the removal of grass cover and its root-storing carbon to open air soil distured further by planting.

Mar 24, 2015
Who would vote this down?

It wasn't me, but maybe someone who knows this is nothing new and that this idea seems to be "discovered" about every three years.

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