Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture

Date:
May 25, 2012
Source:
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Summary:
A solar-powered system uses nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish water, resulting in high-quality desalinated irrigation water. The results indicate that irrigation with desalinated water yields higher productivity from water and inorganic fertilizers compared with current practices. Crops grown with desalinated water required 25 percent less irrigation and fertilizer than brackish water irrigation.

Experimental farm irrigated with solar-powered desalination system.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have created a human-made oasis in the desert with the successful application of a solar-powered desalination system that provides water for irrigation in arid regions. The project was made possible with support from American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU).

The solar-powered system uses nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish (saline) water, resulting in high-quality desalinated irrigation water. The results of the Josefowitz Oasis Project indicate that irrigation with desalinated water yields higher productivity from water and inorganic fertilizers compared with current practices. Crops grown with desalinated water required 25 percent less irrigation and fertilizer than brackish water irrigation. In some cases, the yield of crops increased.

The findings were presented in a paper at the Conference on Desalination for the Environment in Barcelona late last month by Dr. Andrea Ghermandi of BGU's Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) on behalf of his colleagues Drs. Rami Messalem (ZIWR), Rivka Offenbach, and Shabtai Cohen of the Central Arava Research and Development Station. The Josefowitz Oasis Project was funded by Samuel Josefowitz, of Lausanne, Switzerland with additional support from The Alliance for Global Good, Greensboro, North Carolina through AABGU.

"The growing global demand for food and competition for resources between economic sectors compel future agricultural systems to be more efficient in the use of natural resources, such as land and water," says Dr. Ghermandi. "In the Middle East, the lack of fresh water promotes the exploitation of marginal quality sources such as brackish aquifers, but the sustainability of the current management practices is questionable."

The research was conducted in the Arava Valley of Israel, south of the Dead Sea at a facility that produces environmentally sustainable crops in arid environments. The Arava basin is extremely dry and its agricultural activities rely extensively on brackish groundwater from local aquifers.

Agricultural experiments with variable irrigation water quality, application rate and four different staple crops were conducted over two growing seasons between September 2010 and June 2011. Nanofiltration membranes allowed for less pumping of energy. The desalination plant operated at low pressure, low energy consumption and with little maintenance required during the period.

The researchers also used red beet, a salt-tolerant crop, to successfully consume the liquid wastes of the pilot facility over two growing seasons. This demonstrates that the moderately saline concentrate waste from brackish water desalination can be a useable byproduct.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103922.htm>.
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (2012, May 25). Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103922.htm
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120525103922.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins