A recent online article by Dr. Fernando Pérez Monteagudo (Professor at the Centre for Hydraulic Research, Havana, Cuba) in Water & Wastewater International explained how desalinated water supplements the rainwater fed drinking-water system on Grand Turk.
Sustainability must be the goal of water resources management in small islands, and Grand Turk, the capital of Turks and Caicos Islands, is carefully preserving its complex water supply system fed mainly by rainwater and supplemented by desalination. Read more...
I have the privilege of being accepted as one of the presenters during the Technical Sessions at the 23rd Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition scheduled for October 6-10, 2014 at Atlantis Resorts on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Here is the Abstract of my paper:
Regional droughts in the Caribbean are common. Water managers seeking solutions to water scarcity are often unfamiliar with the option of using water-from-air technology. Maps of the specific humidity composite mean for Junes and Decembers during the ten-year period 2004–2013 quantify the water-from-air resource demonstrating it is suitable for operation of water-from-air systems in Caribbean countries. Quantitative investigations by the author found droughts and long-term climate change do not appear to affect the magnitude of the Caribbean region’s water-from-air resource. Case studies include one for a proposed water-from-air commercial greenhouse on Grand Turk. Another case is about the experience of commissioning a 2500 L/d water-from-air machine in Belize City. Lessons learned from the case studies are outlined.
I discovered that Turks and Caicos Weekly News Online featured an article (August 12, 2011) about our project participant Nicholas Turner.
The opening paragraphs from the article.
TCI’S long neglected agricultural sector is in for a major boost thanks to a forthcoming national training centre to educate a new generation of farmers.
North Caicos’ listless government farm is to be transformed into a venue to research the best way to grow crops – with the emphasis on organic produce.
Aspiring farmers will be given plots of land on the vast 160-acre site for a peppercorn rent. They will then receive training from farm staff on the best techniques on everything from irrigation to fertiliser.
It’s just part of plans unveiled by new agriculture director Nicholas Turner who hopes the Islands will eventually yield enough fruit, veg, dairy products and meat, to feed the entire nation.
March 25, 2013--http://tcweeklynews.com/agriculture-coop-in-planning-stages-p3690-127.htm
July 7, 2013--http://tcweeklynews.com/agriculture-department-still-without-director-p4111-1.htm
Jan 27, 2014--http://tcweeklynews.com/agriculture-projects-for-provo-and-middle-caicos-being-reviewed-p4725-1.htm
Apparently, I should not be so frustrated that the WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ project has not yet built its first installation! New technologies have often taken about two decades to become mainstream. Steven Johnson gave several examples in his interesting book (published 2010) titled, Where good ideas come from: the natural history of innovation. It takes typically about ten years to construct the "platform" and another ten years for widespread adoption (the 10/10 rule).
I am experiencing this (agonizingly) with the WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ Project. The two year viability study, completed in 2003 resulted in a unique knowledge base (the reports to CIDA) that could be marketed to interested people. Lots of mild interest. Many hours are spent on personal networking and development of this information-rich website. Now, more than ten self-funded years later, I am hopeful that there exist some early adopters with the imagination and guts to exploit this innovative technically and commercially viable platform (along with our team's expertise) for improving water and food security for the people living on and visiting tropical small islands. Water-scarcity remains one of the global "key societal challenges" reminds an editorial in the January 2, 2014 issue of Nature. In the same issue, Colin Macilwain listed examples of mounting societal problems in this order: water, food, health, energy, and climate change. The WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ addresses the first two problems.
Our online store is now selling complete sets of the printed and bound reports our Grand Turk water-from-air greenhouse project produced for CIDA. These peer-reviewed documents are an invaluable knowledge base about a practical method of improving water security and food security for the people living on and visiting small tropical islands.
Water security appears to be the subject of many search engine queries in North America. Although other countries do not appear on the regional interest list this does not indicate necessarily an absence of queries but rather a low volume of queries. Qualitatively, it seems that interest in water security has been fairly stable during the last year.
Food security was clearly of concern during the previous 12 months in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India, and Australia as well as in North America and the UK. There appears to be a recent upsurge of interest in food security.
In the context of these regions, the WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ may be investigated as a possible water-plus-food-security solution for small tropical islands, with access to deep cold ocean water, associated with especially India (Lakshadweep, Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands), Australia (Coral Sea Islands), and USA (SE Florida, Florida Keys).
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has contracted with a joint venture of Matrix Enviro, Ltd. and Aqua-Chem, Inc. to build a new 300,000 US gallons per day reverse osmosis plant on Grand Turk. More information is available at:
Global Trends 2030 reinforces need for WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ Technology for #watersecurity and #foodsecurity
After 10 years of maintaining the infrastructure for the WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ project but with still no prospect of the first installation being funded and built, it is all too easy to become discouraged. Therefore, I was keen to see what the recently released Global Trends 2030, published by the National Intelligence Council (USA), would say that could be relevant to the project. I found this discussion on pages 93–94 of the report:
Water management will be critical to achieving
global food security because agriculture today
requires irrigation for 40 percent of its production
and consumes approximately 70 percent of global
freshwater supplies. Currently, agricultural irrigation
wastes about 60 percent of the water withdrawn from
Efficient water management will be required to sustain
a necessary increase in agricultural productivity.
Even though desalination technologies might be
economically feasible for household and industrial
water, such technologies are unlikely to produce
irrigation water from saline waters at a low enough
cost to be feasible for agricultural use. As water
scarcity increases, adopting technologies that increase
water-use efficiency will be the only option farmers
will have for confronting global water scarcity.
The array of such technologies includes precision
agriculture and GM drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant
crops as well as micro-irrigation systems and
hydroponic greenhouse technologies.
Efficient direct use of a 'new' source of water, the water vapour in the air, combined with commercial-scale hydroponic horticulture does appear to be a worthwhile technological option for tropical small islands.
Roland Wahlgren, BSc MA, is a Physical Geographer and owner/President of Canadian Dew Technologies Inc. (CDTI, www.candew.ca). He has researched water-from-air technologies since 1984. Peer-reviewed publications in the water-from-air field include Atmospheric Water Vapour Processing, Waterlines, Practical Action Publishing (1993); Atmospheric Water Vapour Processor Designs for Potable Water Production: A Review, Water Research, Elsevier Science Ltd. (2001); and Water-Producing Greenhouses for Small Tropical Islands: Ahead of Their Time or a Timely Solution?, Acta Hort. 797, ISHS 2008, (2008). CDTI, founded in 2003, has performed research and development work for client companies interested in commercializing water-from-air technologies. The R & D work included building prototypes of 20 L per day and 2500 L per day machines. The 2500 L per day machines were commercialized. CDTI commissioned, on behalf of its client, two 2500 L per day machines in Belize City in 2006. As Principal of Atmoswater Research (www.atmoswater.com; founded 1997), Roland Wahlgren was the scientific/technical consultant to the CIDA-supported Grand Turk Water-producing Greenhouse Viability Study from 2001 to 2003. He performed the role of project manager for the CIDA project. He has persisted in fund-raising efforts and maintained the project website for several years. He completed recently a major revision of the website.
Séamus Day, CEO of Sand Dollar Investments, Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) provided valuable local liaison work during the CIDA-supported Viability Study for the project. He has been persistent for several years in pursuing funding to carry the project forward. Sand Dollar Investments (www.sanddollartci.com) matches investors with investment opportunities in residential and commercial real estate. Séamus Day has resided in Turks and Caicos Islands for many years. He has experience in TCI, since 1999, as an owner/operator in the hospitality industry; director of operations and business development in the airline/aviation industry, owner of companies in the investment management industry, and as a real estate consultant.
Aar Koeman is Managing Director of Batavia Greenhouse Builders Ltd. (BGBL), founded in 1991, and located in Aldergrove, BC, Canada. The company is an established designer, manufacturer, and installer of greenhouses in British Columbia, Canada. Their business activities include installing ventilation and misting systems, heating systems, curtain systems or growing benches. BGBL’s website is www.batavia-greenhouses.com. Mr Koeman was instrumental in obtaining CIDA funding for the Grand Turk Water-producing Greenhouse Project by taking on the role of Applicant [for the funding]. He advised the project about horticulture and equipment. He majored in horticultural engineering at a Dutch college and obtained an endorsement in dendrology. His career includes experience as Assistant Superintendent, Rotterdam (Netherlands) Parks Board; Owner Manager, Commercial Greenhouse, Canada; Technical Sales, Peacock Equipment, Aldergrove, BC; and Managing Director, Batavia Greenhouse Builders Ltd.
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Roland Wahlgren is a Physical Geographer. He was scientific and technical consultant to the WaterProducer-Greenhouse™ Project while it was "live" as a CIDA-supported Viability Study during 2001-2003.
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