Irrigation with brackish water is a widespread practice in freshwater-poor regions with ample brackish water resources, but it has severe limitations. Desalination is a water saving alternative to brackish water irrigation, but its diffusion as a viable method of water treatment has been limited by high costs and concern about the lack of plant nutrients in desalinated water. In this paper, we discuss the advantages of nanofiltration (NF) membranes for the production of irrigation water based on the simulation of the performance of a solar-assisted pilot plant in the Arava Valley in Israel. It is argued that the proposed system would consume up to 40% less energy than conventional reverse osmosis desalination, reduce by 34% the currently abstracted groundwater volumes, and increase by 18% the total biomass production of the irrigated crops.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was conducted within the framework of the CSPD-COMISJO project with the support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The authors thank Avraham Kudish, Aylon Gadiel, Shabtai Cohen, and Dudu Elkayam for their generous support and assistance.
- Brackish water
- Reverse osmosis
- Solar desalination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Ocean Engineering