Her work was a direct response the South Africa’s recent drought, one of the worst in the country’s history, the BBC reports.
Superabsorbent Polymers (SAPs) are available, but they are expensive and not biodegradable.
Ms Nirghin set about trying to create an alternative, the Google science fair website says.
She discovered that a mixture made from orange peel could be an effective substitute.
She now hopes that this can help local farmers save both money and their crops.