Oct 20, 2022 8:00:40 AM
In many parts of the world, there is a water shortage. In recent years, real water shortages are occurring more frequently and in more countries (for example we wrote this blog about North America). At other times of the year, rainfall is accessive and damaging. To be and remain assured of sufficient water, we will have to collect water in a smarter way and save on our consumption.
Here are eleven tips for saving water. Let's prevent a water crisis!
In a closed cultivation system, all the water that the plant does not use is collected and can then be reused. In practice, about 85 percent of the water is returned. The only loss is through evaporation and as a result of moisture absorption by the plant.
It was recently announced about two percent of the water entering the greenhouse leaks out. Therefore, it is important to detect and fix leaks promptly.
You can save a lot by watering only when the plant needs it. Weighing the plant (automatically or not) will give you insight. Based on this information, you can then adjust your watering schedule. You may find that you need to water less often than you thought. This also results in less evaporation.
This tip is related to the previous one. Quantifying the leaf area of a plant gives a good insight into evaporation and how much water the crop needs. You could adjust your watering strategy accordingly. That way, you avoid overwatering. Of course, accommodate the schedule and tables as the plant grows.
The weather forecast will also determine how much water a plant needs. The crop logically consumes more water on a sunny day than on a cold, rainy day. Therefore, adjust the irrigation schedule according to the predicted weather or integrated weather station.
How often you water not only has to do with plant needs but also with how you water. Watering from below (and leaving the crop in the water for a while) gives soil media time to fully absorb the water. This allows the irrigation frequency to go down.
The growing media also affects the plant's water absorption capacity. When potting soil (e.g., with coconut) has a good capillary action, you will need to water for less time, and therefore less water will evaporate.
The more targeted you water, the less water will evaporate. Irrigating from below is, therefore, preferable to irrigating from above. You also save energy because you don't have to dry the crop.
Rinsing a filter system with a sandy bottom consumes a lot of water. Therefore, choose other, more innovative filter systems that use water more efficiently.
A simple measure with which much can be gained is when you cover your basin and/or silo, water cannot evaporate. Or at least the evaporated water cannot get away. This way, you can secretly save a lot of water and also prevent algae growth.
Clean water is used for most business activities in the Netherlands. But also look at other options. For example, can you reuse the water you use to clean the greenhouse deck for another purpose? Or is it possible to use "gray" water (water already used for another function) to clean the greenhouse cover? Intelligent use of water can yield a lot!
Do you want to read more about water management for grower?