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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. 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