Water scarcity continues to increase worldwide. According to the United Nations, about 700 million people in 43 countries suffer from this calamity caused by over-exploitation of water resources with irrigation of agricultural land to increase production when rains are scarce.
Mexican scientist Sergio Jesús Rico Velasco of the National Polytechnic Institute invented "Solid Rain" and founded the company "Silos de Agua" in 2002 to market his product. Slowly but surely the news of his invention came into the world, opening a new window of hope for many countries around the world, including Russia, India, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Peru and, of course, Mexico; who began experimenting with the new product to alleviate water scarcity for agriculture. In 2012, Rico Velasco was nominated for the World Water Prize.
The magic of "solid rain," a potassium acrylate-based compound, is to store 300 times, up to 500 times its own weight in water, without causing damage to the environment, nor triggering toxic chemical reactions, regardless of soil type or substrate. The product looks like a white powdered sugar, but is made of ultra-absorbent potassium polyacrylate that Rico Velasco and other scientists call "water silos."
Then, as an alternative to reducing water resources, this product stores rainwater and has the advantage that it can be stored anywhere, even in burlap sacks, because rainwater molecules adhere to potassium polyacrylate, which allows rain gelatinization in agricultural fields.
How it works? Solid rain encapsulates and disperses water during its life span, ranging from 8 to 10 years, helps aerate the soil and allows for agriculture in extreme climates and locations with poor soil conditions.
The ideal proportion of use is four "bags", each containing the equivalent of one liter of water. The comparative cost is minimal because the "powder" sufficient for one hectare is priced at around one thousand dollars.
Solid rain can provide enough water for plants for a maximum of ten years at a time, avoiding water stress and evaporation. In addition, solid rain particles can be rehydrated with each crop cycle.
How is this used? Farmers need to mix 20 grams of solid rain with a liter of water and then mix it in the soil. Then plant your seeds.
According to Solid Rain Corporation of San Diego, California, the product is able to save between 50 and 80 percent water depending on the climate and soil conditions and 30 to 50 percent of the water use in greenhouses .