What Is Integrated Seawater Agriculture?
Integrated Seawater Agriculture is a closed-loop agronomic system that uses seawater to grow halophytes (plants that thrive on salt water irrigation) for commercial and/or ornamental purposes. It provides sustainable food/energy security, while creating ecological habitat and jobs. Project sites usually are located in coastal zones or at inland desert regions where there are saline aquifers. Often this water is conveyed by onshore, tree-lined canals that provide a recreational amenity and can even increase available freshwater runoff stores, through creation of ‘freshwater lenses.’
Benefits of Integrated Seawater Agriculture
By creatively leveraging seawater resources, our design methodologies add value through an integrated approach that yields multiple benefits. The approach is flexible and scalable, and may be implemented in several ways, with components deployed either individually or in combination. Among these major components and their benefits are:
- Marine Aquaculture / Aquaponics – Cultivation of marine fauna and fl ora, such as Tilapia, seaweed and algae that are edible and provide nutrients for agricultural components that follow.
- Halophytic Silvaculture – Planting of mangrove forests for both reforestation and forestation.
Seawater Agriculture – Planting of terrestrial agronomic crops that produce nutritious food, oil, fuel, feed stock, building material, and atmospheric carbon sequestration.
- Productive Wetlands / Ornamental Landscapes – Planting of constructed wetlands and salt tolerant landscapes for water purifi cation, microclimate cooling, erosion control, and aesthetic appeal.
- Natural Resource Education / Interpretive Recreation – Creation of wildlife habitat, interpretive trails, boardwalks and educational exhibits, while conducting research and increasing natural capital.
- Enhanced Water Resources – In addition to saltwater usage, freshwater may be captured, naturally treated and re-used onsite, thereby nearly eliminating the need for external sources.
Jobs – Projects typically create direct employment for a few local workers per hectare on large farms, with a multiple of 3 to 4 times that for indirect employment.
H2O Futures: Who We Are
H2O Futures is an ecologically-driven land planning and project development firm. For more than 30 years, we have used untreated saline water to create verdant landscapes, enhance ecosystems and provide green infra-structure*. In so doing, we create abundance while: conserving precious potable water; increasing aesthetics; cultivating organic biomass; capturing carbon ($ credits); reducing climate impacts; and providing jobs. We have executed projects in Africa, the Middle East and Mexico. Our unique, proven approach has been vetted and endorsed by leading authorities, including NASA and The University of Arizona. We are in partnership with GulfCarib, Ltd. in food and energy security projects. For information about our other projects and capabilities, please contact GulfCarib, Ltd: [email protected]
* Green infrastructure includes elements such as seawater plumbing, that have been practiced in Pacific Rim nations for decades.