The agricultural industry’s reliance on water means that advances in water technologies are becoming increasingly essential to the future of the sector. About 70% of freshwater is used globally for irrigation, but water scarcity, floods and contaminants from industrial waste and sewers can all affect crop quality. Resting water in tanks or pipes can also introduce bacteria and pathogens.
Emerging innovations such as the water purification systems designed by British company, Paqua, are taking a completely different approach toward creating a solution that is not only farmer-friendly but more eco-friendly than traditional mainstream systems and other water treatments. Unlike Reverse-Osmosis water treatment systems, which have very high power consumption due to the pressures involved in processing the water, PaquaVida Water Purification Systems use very little power to transform contaminated water into clean water that supplies the entire agricultural operation, including irrigation, processing and sanitising fresh produce. The systems also produce minimal process water loss, whereas Reverse-Osmosis wastes over 50%.
The PaquaVida System uses an internal electrolysis process with filtration modules to produce a continuous flow of fresh, clean water from any freshwater source, without the use of harsh chemicals. Designed to be low cost and fully automated, it self-cleans using a natural cleaning solution. Importantly, for remote areas, the system can run completely off grid. Founder Simon Escott and his team of engineers successfully tested the system over a number of years in different environments across the world in partnership with scientists at the University of the West of England.
He says, “PaquaVida was created with a clear goal in mind; to develop a sustainable water purification system that avoids typical solutions, such as those based on chlorine, by using zero-carbon filtration and low energy. “The system has been proven to increase crop yield, disinfect grain and prolong the shelf life of vegetables and fruit. By efficiently purifying irrigation water for crop spraying and pest control, the system also reduces the need for chemically treated fertilisers, saving considerably on agricultural costs and ultimately helping to save the planet.”