KWR's first operational Freshmaker stores fresh water in the ground, replacing salt water
Fruit-grower Rijk-Boonman in Ovezande, the Netherlands, is the first farmer to use the Freshmaker installation, developed by KWR Watercycle Research Institute.
The installation uses a horizontal drainage to abstract salt groundwater. This lowers the level of the salt groundwater, leaving more room for the storage of fresh groundwater. In dry periods the farmer has more fresh water available.
The first operational Freshmaker pilot installation was officially inaugurated on 27 June.
Ovezande is situated in the Southwest Delta of the Netherlands, close to the North Sea. The availability of fresh water in this area cannot, today or in the future, be taken for granted. At the same time, water is crucial for the growth and development of the local fruit sector.
Since large quantities of fresh water are available from surface water sources (or the agricultural water system) in many areas over the winter period, the collection and storage of water at this time is a good solution to cover temporary water shortages in the summer.
The advantage of storing fresh water underground is that there is enough room available and the water is protected against influences of various sorts.
Abstraction of the salt groundwater (left) lowers the groundwater level, creating more room for fresh water (blue) to infiltrate. In dry periods this large fresh water aquifer can be used (right) for crop irrigation.
Two irrigation systems
The Freshmaker provides a new way of storing fresh water underground. It has two horizontal drainage systems. The 10 to 15 m deep drainage abstracts the salt groundwater, while above the other drainage sytstem infiltrates the fresh (rain) water.
With this new technology the (thin) fresh water aquifer situated below agricultural areas is enlarged during the winter period, so that the fresh water needs in the summer can be better covered.
Researchers will be monitoring the water’s infiltration, storage and recovery closely to learn more about the Freshmaker’s potential.
KWR is a research institute collectively owned by the Dutch water supply companies. Its research focuses on four important themes: healthy, sustainable,
advanced and efficient water. KWR contributes to concrete societal innovations in and around the water cycle. It brings relevant parties together to develop a business-like, cost-conscious approach to water problems that focuses on the water cycle, while always considering the wider hydrologic water cycle.
This news item was originally published on the website of KWR Watercycle Research.
KWR Watercycle Research
Nieuwegein, the Netherlands
+31 30 606 95 11