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Water and food shortages are addressed with UNISA floating sea farm



Water and food shortages are addressed with UNISA floating sea farm

Water and food shortages are addressed with UNISA floating sea farm. In a groundbreaking initiative, researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have pioneered a unique self-sustaining solar-driven system that tackles both water and food shortages simultaneously.

This innovative sea farm utilizes solar energy to evaporate seawater and transform it into freshwater, fostering crop growth without the need for human intervention.

 A World-First Solution to Looming Global Water and Food Shortages

With the global population projected to reach 10 billion by 2050, UniSA’s Professor Haolan Xu and Dr. Gary Owens have developed a vertical sea farm designed to float in the ocean, addressing the imminent crises of freshwater scarcity and food shortages.

The Mechanics of UniSA  Vertical Sea Farm

The floating sea farm comprises two chambers – an upper layer resembling a glasshouse and a lower water harvest chamber. Dr. Gary Owens explains the system’s functioning, likening it to a household wicking bed. Solar evaporators absorb seawater, extract salts, and release clean water vapor into the air under the sun’s rays. This vapor is then condensed and transferred to the upper plant growth chamber.

Advantages Over Traditional Solar Sea Farm Designs

UniSA’s vertical sea farm stands out due to its unique design. Unlike other models that place evaporators inside the growth chamber, UniSA’s distribution of evaporator and growth chambers reduces the overall footprint, maximizing space for plant growth. Fully automated, cost-effective, and powered solely by solar energy, this system is an environmentally friendly solution to water and food shortages.

 Pure and Recycled Water – Fit for Drinkin

UniSA researchers have demonstrated that the recycled water produced by the floating sea farm is not only suitable for agriculture but also meets the World Health Guidelines for drinking water. This breakthrough could potentially alleviate water scarcity issues faced by a significant portion of the global population.

Addressing the Global Water Crisis

With the United Nations predicting that 2.4 billion people may face water shortages by 2050, and a 19% decline in water supply for agricultural irrigation, UniSA’s sea farm emerges as a promising solution. Leveraging the abundance of ocean water, this technology has the potential to improve the health and welfare of billions of people globally.

A Sustainable Vision for the Future

Published in the Chemical Engineering Journal, UniSA’s design experiment opens the door to a sustainable future. The prospect of vast floating biodomes on the ocean or numerous smaller devices deployed across expansive sea areas showcases the adaptability and scalability of this revolutionary technology. Adopting such innovations could pave the way for a resilient and sustainable global approach to water, food, and agricultural challenges.


UniSA’s pioneering floating sea farm presents a game-changing solution to the impending water and food crises. With its solar-driven, automated system, the world can harness the power of the sea and sun to secure a sustainable future for generations to come.

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