Sunday, September 09, 2018

Reusing water to grow quality food in cities

Research to optimize aquaponics systems could inform a new era of urban food production.


New ways of feeding city populations are needed to cope with increasingly city-centered global populations. The availability of fresh water for agricultural use could limit traditional food production, and reliance on imported goods will be affected by rising fuel costs and environmental sustainability. TorOve Leiknes from KAUST is leading a research team in the burgeoning field of urban agriculture‚ÄĒfinding ways to use city spaces to grow low-cost, high-quality organic food to provide a stable source of sustenance for city populations. 

For more than 20 years, Leiknes has focussed on the application of membrane technology in environmental engineering and is heavily involved in the development of advanced water treatment systems for sustainable water reuse. He now also applies his expertise to advanced water treatment in recycling aquaculture systems: knowledge that will now feed into the new aquaponics system at KAUST.

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Image: TorOve Leiknes (left) and Ryan Lefers consult a water-quality meter in the KAUST greenhouse, where tomatoes are being grown hydroponically.
© 2018 KAUST

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