Project Description

Water Future grows cucumbers by reusing waste water (WWTP)

Most of the water that is currently used in agriculture and horticulture for irrigation comes from rain, ground or surface water. The sector is a major user when it comes to freshwater supplies worldwide. However, due to the changing climate, it is not always possible to draw on these sources. Scarcity arises.

One of Water Future's right to exist is to contribute to this scarcity problem. How can water be made available for the agricultural and horticultural sector in a sustainable way?

One of the possible solutions appears to lie in the use of water from waste water. Can water from a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) be used to grow the healthy crops of the future? This is being researched by Water Future and collaborating parties. 

The aim of the trial is to grow cucumbers in a horticultural greenhouse with treated WWTP water. Among other things, ultrafiltration and desalination are used here, with which bacteria, viruses and harmful Sodium Chloride are removed. Cucumbers are a very sensitive crop with limited sodium tolerance.

What seems? It is perfectly possible to grow cucumbers with this new water source. The cucumbers from the test are just as good as the cucumbers grown using traditional water sources.

In order to tackle the problem of scarcity, Water Future has also reused the used WWTP water. This water is treated before recirculation to prevent sodium accumulation. In addition, up to 80% water, multivalent and micronutrients can be saved. This innovative technique also prevents the emission of crop protection agents (BZG approval)

So it is simply possible to use wastewater from WWTPs in agriculture, what is stopping us?

Project partners

Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt