The thirst for an agricultural revolution

Nature has a brilliant system for reusing water, called the water cycle. A similar system, called the Water Recovery System, is in charge of recycling water on the International Space Station. Sending one gallon of water to space costs more than US $80,000, which is why every drop of wastewater is captured, filtered, and then reused. Or, as the astronauts put it: “today’s coffee is tomorrow’s coffee”. Aboard the ISS, there are only seven crew members. Imagine this number constantly growing and the implications thereof, writes Sudhanshu Sarronwala on LinkedIn

Carbon emissions are front and center whenever there is a discussion over sustainability. Freshwater should be on par. So why is it not? Is it because there is nothing more straightforward for many of us than to go to the tap and pour ourselves a glass of water? Is it because 71% of the earth’s surface is covered in water? Or is it because, as with other misfortunes in life, “you don’t get it, till you get it”.

Since agriculture is both the largest user and a significant polluter of freshwater, the answer to the water scarcity crisis lies in technology and next-generation farming. In other words: we have an urgent and desperate need for an agricultural revolution. Vertical farming is one of the modern tools that address this gigantic problem of water usage in agriculture. For example, at Infarm’s growing centers, the plants are nurtured through groundbreaking closed-loop water cycle systems. "Thanks to these systems, we are using up to 95% less freshwater compared with open farming (yes, we are looking at saving over a billion liters of water by 2023 for an equivalent amount of food production). Apart from recycling and using minimal amounts of water, Infarm contributes, even more, to address the water problem by using no chemical pesticides," Sarronwala adds.

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