"Without detracting from the possibilities described for utilization of Opuntias in the production food and natural additives and the benefits for integrated use of the plant, many other popular uses have been known for centuries. Some of these are only now being studied scientifically. For example, the use of cladodes: to clarify water
(López, 2000); as an adherent for paint when added to lime (Ramsey, 1999); or to increase water infiltration into the soil (Gardiner, Felker and Carr, 1999).
Agro-industrial utilization of cactus pear, FAO, 2013, p.19.
Gardiner, Felker and Carr (1999) reported the first experiments on the use of cactus pear extracts for improving water infiltration in soils. After comparing polyacryl amides (PAM) with an undiluted and a diluted extract of cactus pear cladode, the authors found that use of this extract matched the infiltration rates found using PAM. However, many questions remain concerning this research, including the durability of the effect and how the extracts work in the soil. Again, follow-up R&D is recommended."
Agro-industrial utilization of cactus pear, FAO, 2013, p.99.
Gardiner, D., Felker, P. & Carr, T. 1999. Cactus extract increases water infiltration rates in two soils. Comunn. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 30 (11–12): 1707–1712