Terra Nova soil monitor
Portable device that monitors the health of topsoil
How does it work?
Terra Nova allows users to measure the levels of three critical nutrients within topsoil — nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous — as well as its moisture content. The device enables farmers and gardeners to track degradation and assists them to improve the quality of the soil, in turn improving their crops. Three retractable probes on the bottom stick into the soil, with sensors that measure the levels of moisture and key nutrients in the soil. The collected data is then displayed in two ways: on a small LCD screen on top of the device, which shows the soil readings at the present time, and on a web app, which presents weeks, months or even years of data in graphs and visualisation.
Why is it needed?
Soil degradation presents an imminent threat to arable land. Waterhouse tells Dezeen, that "the world grows 90 per cent of its food in topsoil – the uppermost layer of soil – making it one of the most critical components in our food system." "Current rates of nutritional soil degradation suggest that topsoil will run out in just 60 years, posing a significant threat to food production," he continued. "Every minute, 30 football fields' worth of topsoil is lost due to degradation."
How does it improve life?
Waterhouse won the 2022 New Designer of the Year award, the top award at the UK's New Designers showcase, with Terra Nova.