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Saudi Agricultural Water Use Could Reduce 70%

Dutch technology can help KSA reduce agricultural water consumption by 70%‚Äč

The Netherlands is willing to share its technology on efficient use of water in agriculture with the Kingdom, according to Agricultural Counselor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Dr. Hans van der Beek. "Saudi Arabia could cut its agricultural water consumption by up to 70 percent such as in growing date palms. At present, each date palm consumes roughly 100 cubic meter of water per year," he said. 

He added that the Kingdom has stopped wheat production because it needs a lot water but it will continue planting date palms. He said the technology involves an integration of steps such as determination of underground water reserves by sensor techniques, and monitoring systems, whether the crop to be planted needs irrigation or not. 

He said that for the technology, six Dutch firms are collaborating with each other with the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) as the coordinator. The other firms include BroereHortitech B.V. (for a highly sophisticated irrigation system); Dacom (monitoring system and weather station); Acacia Water (soil and water conditions); BLGG (soil analysis) and DLV Plant (training and crop technology). He said that the Netherlands could also share knowledge on efficient use of water through greenhouse concepts for indoor vegetables and fruits, adding that "this not only includes putting up a greenhouse but it's also a concept around a greenhouse." 

"This involves climate control, cooling systems and growing technique or the medium used for a plant or crop to grow, e.g. substrates like water or rock wall slabs," he said. He added that another example of an efficient use of water is by using a closed circulation system in fish farming, which Netherlands invented. "If you have a highly concentrated population of tilapia, you could re-circulate the water in the system which is going through a trickling filter," he said. By this, he said, "you lose only up to 10 percent of water but reuse 90 percent of all the water in the system." 

He said this is called a recirculation aquaculture system, adding that "we're thinking of other concepts on efficient use of water which we could share with the Kingdom as part of our close collaboration in agriculture." Dr. van der Beek added that trade cooperation has resulted in the Netherlands' agricultural exports to Saudi Arabia of SR2.5 billion annually.

Source: zawya

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