Prominent, the tomato growers association in ‘s-Gravenzande, recently started operating an installation for the aquifer storage and recovery of fresh water in a saline aquifer. The installation is part of a KWR pilot being carried out within the Knowledge for Climate research programme.
The greenhouse horticulture sector uses rainwater as its main source of water. The water is stored in above-ground storage reservoirs for use as irrigation water in the greenhouses. One problem is that, in the summer, there is more demand for water than rainwater can supply. The greenhouse horticulturalists in Westland therefore use brackish/saline groundwater, which they first have to desalinate.
Always enough fresh water available
In order to increase the availability of fresh water and combat pluvial flooding at the same time, KWR is researching the possibility of temporarily storing the autumn and winter excess rainfall underground. A key question is whether one can create a recoverable fresh water lens of good water quality in the brackish/saline groundwater.
Growers working together
Earlier, a pilot was also started at a grower’s in Nootdorp. But the system in ‘s Gravenzande is bigger – involving the excess water of four tomato growers – and the water is beingstored into a much more saline aquifer, so that a larger number of injection and abstraction screens are being used.
Showcase Waterbuffer demonstrates various techniques for underground buffering and storage of rainwater for application in agriculture during the dry periods. The benefits of sub soil buffering is protection of water quality, no loss of high valued production area and reducing negative effects of uprising salt water. The Showcase is open for visiting groups and is located in the horticulture area Westland in the Netherlands.