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Case Study>>BÕA/ÕYA
  I was introduced to the Olla [ OI - YA ] by my grandfather. He had a stint as a drip emitter manufacturer along with a variety of other irrigation products in the early 80’s.  Ash (my grandfather) served as a major influence to my father’s and eventually my own endeavors in the irrigation/landscaping industry.

Being no stranger to receiving the odd midnight text from him on Facebook or WhatsApp about the latest news or innovation I need to try, he’s always been an early adopter on all things sustainable.

He sent me a link on YouTube that to an instructional video on how to make these ‘Ollas’ at home (See link below). Over the next few weeks, he  shared some sketches of an improvised design he had been tinkering with,  intending to inter-link them and then connect to mains water supply.

Explaining that the Olla’s available were prohibitively expensive hence the improvised technique using clay pots, etc. He suggested to look into the possibility of getting a single vessel produced which started this little project for me. 


Some background info on what the Olla’s are and what they do:

An ancient irrigation system (as old as 4000 years) that utilizes soil moisture tension to wick water through the terra-cotta walls of the vessel, keeping the soil moist at the root level. Over time the plant roots will instinctively grow toward and attach themselves to the outside of the Olla and draw water as needed.

Some reasons why we all need them in our lives - in case you missed them:

  • A low tech, water saving and self watering system. You stand to reduce watering up to 70% compared to surface watering which means you would only need to water once every 5 days.

  • Subterranean watering promotes root development, meaning healthier plants and better yields.

  • They improve soil structure as it prevents soil compaction & shrinkage from surface watering, also reducing nutrient loss due to run off.

  • The Olla’s [ OI - YA ] clay composition behaves like a filter that consequently improves the water quality.

I set out to design my own interpretation of an Olla [ OI - YA ] for BOA, an eco friendly manufacturing initiative.

A throwback water saving product that allowed me to pay homage to my grandfather's genius and inherent ability to recognize, adopt and incite sustainable ideas.  
2020