Hydroponics, Vertical Farming, and Water

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Whether it is a large agribusiness or subsistence, open-air crop farming takes a lot of space and a lot of water, and the control of the quantity and quality of the water is incredibly difficult. Open-air crop farmers cannot control what trace elements are in the water, even municipal sources, or the soil, and adding nutrients is very imprecise and can be environmentally catastrophic. The entire process is chemical and energy intensive, and subject to the vagaries of seasonal rainfall, periodic drought, and warming climate patterns. 

The real problem is the distribution and transportation. The energy waste in food production and transportation is 10% of the US total energy consumption and it still results in 44% crop wastage from farm to food outlet, disregarding wastage after preparation. 


Hydroponics and its close cousin, Vertical Farming, resolve many of these challenges.  Hydroponic and Vertical Farm Systems (H/VFS) use 20 times less water, get up to 20 times the crop yield for the same space, and they can be placed very close to the market, almost eliminating the distribution problem. The controlled H/VFS environment allows precise direction of every aspect of the crop lifecycle. With an estimate 7.5 billion people in urban centers by 2050, these are very promising systems.

However, achieving these results requires precise water controls; water quality, water cleanliness, and waterborne micro-organisms, as well as secure, or fully independent, power and water systems. In addition, H/VFS systems have a significant atmospheric moisture control problem; they have high humidity by necessity. A simple 5,000 sq.ft. greenhouse can generate 100 gallons of condensed water a day, or more. Continuous condensation is a breeding ground for mold, fungus and other moisture related microbial blights that can ruin an entire crop growing in very close proximity. Adding anti-fungal and other chemicals biocides can likewise ruin a crop or make it unmarketable to a health-conscious community interested in only perfect fruit and vegetables.

 

The WaterSeer Solution

WaterSeer is pioneering an innovative set of solutions that meets the challenge of water security and water independence. There is no other product like it. It is light, affordable, and has high social impact.

WaterSeer is a two for one solution for H/VFS grower; it both gives clean water and takes unwanted atmospheric water away. The WaterSeer system produces an unlimited amount of pure, clean, chemical, particulate, and microbial free water every day at low power, and it significantly reduces atmospheric water, controlling the unwanted condensation and reducing water related organic blights, such as molds, fungus, and microbial blight. 

In addition, WaterSeer is built and designed in a modular fashion, so that no matter how small or large the H/VFS operation, the grower need only use exactly what they need, without over or under buying. 

The WaterSeer is light and movable, so it can be moved easily throughout the facility, depending on crop requirements. WaterSeers can operate on common grid power, or on off-grid solar or wind-power. 

In short, WaterSeer applies to all three challenges of H/VFS systems;

  1. Abundant pure clean, water 
  2. Removal of atmospheric water, and
  3. It provides full water security and independence. 

 

The WaterSeer Design

WaterSeer was designed to bring water security and independence to everyone, right where they live. We design our products applying seven principals to develop solutions like no other. 

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  • Innovation. We develop and combine completely new technologies and designs with proven methods in unique ways. 
  • Modularity. Our products can be combined like Legos™ into WaterGrids to meet unique customer requirements generating 100,000s gallons per day.
  • Affordability. We strive to develop high quality affordable products that deliver low cost per gallon water yield.
  • Sustainability. Our product development focus is to deliver products that add clean water into the environment rather than depleting it.
  • Power efficiency. Our products are designed to require low power operation and deliver high water yield.
  • Entrepreneurial economic development. From the outset of the design of our products we consider how it will promote local and regional businesses and economic development.
  • Social impact. We are socially conscious in our business model, a percentage of every sale goes to our non-profit organization, WaterSeer Foundation, to provide clean water to those in need worldwide.
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Sources and Data: “Losses, Inefficiencies and Waste in the Global Food System”; Alexander, Brown, Arnet, Finnigan, Moran and Rounsevellac; “Taking a Bite out of Energy Consumption”, Kirshenbaum, National Public Radio; “Vertical Farming Increases Lettuce Yield Per Unit Area Compared to Conventional Horizontal Hydroponics” Touliatos, Dodd, and McAinsh, Wiley

Digital Archives; “America s Supersized Energy Waste”. Lott, Scientific American; 
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to assure this assessment is accurate and error free. It is published as is without any assurance as to its suitability for any purpose.