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                                       Water Use Efficiency and Reuse

      Water is the essential element. 

Without sufficient water, farming is not possible. Crops must have moisture available to grow and produce the food we need. At the same time, plants and animals in natural ecosystems downstream also need water to survive and reproduce. We have designed three major strategies to ensure our farm and the ecosystems downstream effectively share the water resources available.

        Use sustainable sources of water

  In the past, the only water resources we had were the rain that fell on our property and the water flowing in the channels surrounding our farm. We had no way to know if we would have enough water in any particular season. The only thing we could do was to store as much water as possible in the farm dam we built. This meant that in occasions less water was available for environmental use downstream.

 Now, we have connected our irrigation system to the local recycled water system which provides a continuous supply of class ‘A’ irrigation water. Class ‘A’ irrigation water has been treated to very high standards which ensures hygienic crop production. From an environmental point of view, class ‘A’ water means that more rain water can flow to ecosystems downstream.

Reduction of water use

Regardless of the source, water is a precious resource that must be used as efficiently as possible. To do this we must give our crops exactly the amount of water they need, no more, no less.

Over the years we have developed a good understanding of how much water each crop needs. We deliver the correct amount of water using our highly efficient computer controlled irrigation system. The irrigation system is maintained in optimal conditions to ensure its effective operation every time it is needed. We especially schedule irrigation for night time to reduce water loss due to evaporation.

Reuse

Even with our efficient irrigation system, some water is not taken up by the crops. Also, there is some water that runs out of the packing shed after washing our vegetables. All this water is collected and channelled back to be pumped into our main storage dam. Our extensive drainage system, and the silt traps and sump dams allow us to recover and reuse nearly half of all the water that comes out of our dams.

 


 
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Peter Schreurs and Sons
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