Curious to know how we make excess rainwater available for sustainable agriculture purposes?
On the Dutch island of Texel, farmers depend on rainwater only for their freshwater supply. In order to be able to irrigate crops during increasing periods of drought, farmers aim to be self-sufficient in their fresh water supply. Together with Broere Beregening B.V. Irrigation Systems, Van Leeuwen Sleufloze Technieken and Dros Grondverzet, Acacia Water researches, designs and implements a Managed Aquifer Recharge system!
Within the “Zoete Toekomst Texel” (“Fresh Future”) project, a milestone has been reached for the pilot locations at the Postweg as well as the Hoofdweg. The construction of a treatment plant, embedded within the existing infiltration and extraction system, has been completed for both pilots. Mid-December, the Waterboard Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK) gave green light to start using the entire system. Since mid-December, infiltration successfully started at the Hoofdweg. With the finalisation of the treatment plant at the Postweg, infiltration now also starts at the Postweg.
Construction of a purification system
During the last months, a lot of work has been done on the construction of a purification system for the removal of crop protection products from the drain water. In accordance with the agreements with the HHNK, these substances must be removed from the drain water before infiltration into the deep subsurface takes place. To check this, a monitoring plan has been drawn up and water samples are regularly analysed. In addition to water quality, quantities of treated and infiltrated drain water are also monitored.
Optimisation of the system
At the moment, the infiltration rate is being increased step by step and management of the treatment and infiltration system optimised. It is expected that until the start of the planting season, sufficient drain water will be stored underground for the next step: setting up an irrigation pilot. That's the next major next milestone for the project.