Irrigation system turns on the waterworks

Airdrop IrrigationEarlier this month, StartupSmart wrote about Edward Lincare, a former student of Swinburne University, who won this year’s James Dyson Award for his agricultural invention.


Airdrop is an irrigation system that can pull liquid moisture out of dry desert air, designed as a low-cost, self-powered solution to growing crops in arid regions.


Linacre, aged 27, drew inspiration from the Namib beetle, a desert-dwelling species that survives by consuming the dew it collects on the hydrophilic skin on its back.


Airdrop uses the same concept, working on the principle that even the driest air contains water molecules that can be extracted by lowering the air’s temperature to the point of condensation.


It pumps air through a network of underground pipes to cool it to the point at which the water condensates, delivering water directly to the roots of plants.


“It’s basically a response to the devastating effects of drought… There are water-harvesting technologies out there but there’s very few low-tech solutions,” Linacre says.


While Lincare may have come up with one solution, surely there other ways of accessing alternate sources of water. Why not draw inspiration from Lincare and come up with your own?


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