Solar Desalination System for Arid Land Agriculture
Researchers of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel, have created a human-made oasis in the Arava Valley, a desert area south of the Dead Sea, Israel, with the successful application of a solar-powered desalination system that provides water for irrigation in arid regions. The solar-powered system uses nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish (saline) water, resulting in high-quality desalinated irrigation water. The findings were presented in a paper at the Conference on Desalination for the Environment in Barcelona late last month by Dr Andrea Ghermandi. 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.
Photo (c) Michael Privorotsky/ Flickr