Water efficiency in farming and food production, whether for traditional rural irrigation, arid regions or urban farms, represents a key metric in the face of global population growth and climate change.
As it is, 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water.
A big percentage of this water is salt water – in world’s oceans and seas.
Scarcity of freshwater resources therefore makes a compelling argument for desalination.
However, the process of desalinating sea water consumes large amounts of energy that some scientists have argued that more energy is lost than gained in the long term – relative to agricultural profit margins.
Sundrop Farms in Australia thus solved the problem by coming up with a solution that draws on one of the few renewable resources in even more abundant supply than seawater – sunlight.
Sundrop Farms harvests solar power to generate energy for desalination to supply hydroponic greenhouses.
Requiring no freshwater, farmland or fossil fuels, this potential game-changer for sustainable farming is creating 300 jobs in Port Augusta, South Australia, with a 10-year contract won to grow tomatoes for Coles supermarkets.