Thanks to a local Qatari blog, Qatar Visitor, Green Prophet recently learned about potential desert seawater greenhouse construction in Qatar.
What exactly is a desert seawater greenhouse, you might ask? We had to look it up, too.
According to the Seawater Greenhouse Company’s website: “Seawater Greenhouse is a unique concept which combines natural processes, simple construction techniques and mathematical computer modeling to provide a low-cost solution to one of the world’s greatest needs – fresh water. The Seawater Greenhouse is a new development that offers sustainable solutions to the problem of providing water for agriculture in arid, coastal regions.”
In layman’s terms, the seawater greenhouses use seawater to humidify the air in the greenhouse while sunlight distills the fresh water out of the seawater. This is a unique solution for desert areas where fresh water is scarce. It is especially great for Middle Eastern countries, many of which have access to saltwater and have large areas of desert land.
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But beyond being practical, the use of desert seawater greenhouses is greener than the alternatives for a couple of reasons. Firstly, traditional desalination projects are energy intensive and consume lots of fossil fuels.
Once constructed, desert seawater greenhouses are solar powered. Secondly, in enabling more desert areas to be used for agriculture, local agriculture is encouraged and fewer food products may be imported from far away (thus reducing a nation’s food carbon footprint).
According to Charlie Paton, the inventor of Seawater Greenhouse technology, “UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait are other countries in the region which are planning to turn its vast areas of arid lands into arable through the unique method.”
Read more about how Qatar’s neighbors are exploring alternative energies
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