Northwestern Europe is suffering from one of the most intense droughts in decades. Water availablity is heavily under pressure, resulting in reduced crop yield and even crop failure in the agricultural sector and pressure on drinking water supply. However, not at field sites in the Subsol project. An update:
At the greenhouse companies in Nootdorp and Westland, sufficient water is still available for irrigation. At the Westland site, however, no unmixed rainwater can be recovered, such that all water (brackish water blended with brackish groundwater) requires treatment by reverse osmosis. At the Nootdorp site, the water is still recovered unmixed upon aquifer storage.
In Ovezande, the Freshmaker produces the daily required water for drip irrigation of the local orchard, resulting in a 'normal growth' of the fruit. The orchard is thefore an exception in the area, where farmers observe a widespread and firm reduction in the size of apples and pears due to a lack of freshwater. Fruit grower Jan Rijk was even interviewed on the national radio because of his Freshmaker.
Most excitement was found at the Dinteloord site, where 2018 was the first year that the water supply in the modern greenhouse area was really depending on the recently build ASR-Coastal system, because of many new greenhouses taken in production. In 2017, it was decided tot store at least 100 000 m3 of high quality irrigation water. By now, 70% of this water has been succesfully recovered for irrigation of the greenhouses. The greenhouse owners were found extremely satisfied with the convenience and reliability of the ASR-Coastal system.