Agriculture uses 60-80% of the planet’s scarce fresh water, but what would happen if food production used no water at all? That is what is happening right now in South Australia, and soon in Qatar.
A group of international scientists is using the sun to create something-from-nothing — fresh water for irrigation, from condensation; electricity for heating and cooling greenhouses, from a solar thermal system — all integrated to grow high-quality, delicious, pesticide-free vegetables in greenhouses year-round.
So far, the company, Sundrop Farms, has grown commercial quantities of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, using the same proven technology and close to zero fossil fuels. Salty seawater is abundant like the sun, especially with our ice caps melting away, so the venture is ready to scale up in a big way. A a 20-acre greenhouse is being built that will grow produce for supermarkets now clamoring for an exclusive contract, reports the Guardian.
“They are making food without risk, eliminating the problems caused not just by floods, frost, hail but by lack of water, too, which now becomes a non-issue,” says the head of Australia’s government-funded desalination research institute, Neil Palmer. “Plus, it stacks up economically and it’s infinitely scalable.”
(WATCH the video below or READ the feature story in the Guardian)