Water Resources

Water Resources - Water Treatments for Agriculture Application
Water Resources - Introduction
Water is essential for the survival of all known forms of life. Lack of water means lack of life. The world is increasingly facing a serious water shortage and lack of quality water supply as global agriculture and industry compete with local populations for freshwater accessand use.
Only 0.3% of the world’s water is usable while 70% of the world’s usable water is consumed by agriculture (FAO). In a UN report on climate change (2007), it was projected that by the year 2050 the annual average of water availability is going to decrease by 10-30% over some dry regions at mid-latitudes.
Netafim invented drip irrigation in 1965 in the Negev Desert, Southern Israel to better serve local arid-land agriculture.
During those four decades an extensive know-how has been accumulated by Netafim to optimize soil-plant-water relations, especially under conditions of insufficient and inconstant rainfall. A proper understanding of these basic agronomical concepts encouraged a wise use of irrigation systems and optimal water use efficiency (WUE). Netafim is also present in geographical areas where crops receive too much water but mainly it operates in other areas where crops often suffer from water scarcity.
Netafim Water Resources was established in 2005 in order to respond to questions rose by growers in the field - questions about water qualities and quantities. Water treatment is a term applied in Netafim as the reuse of effluent water for beneficial purposes in agricultural and landscape irrigation as well as in industrial processes. Netafim is committed to support its customers, whether growers or agro-industrial managers, with solutions to solve quality and quantity of water resources mainly for drip irrigation. Through Research & Development efforts Netafim has developed an adjusted offer such as advanced filtration systems and a range of Crop Management Technology products (CMT) that allow proper irrigation by using treated waters of various qualities.
The Netafim Water Resources solutions has been designed to adhere to government regulations from both an environmental and health perspective, as well as overcome general water quality concerns. But what is this solution about and what services does it comprise?
Water Resources - Offered solutions by Netafim
Netafim has created a customized, end-to-end solution for efficient irrigation comprising of three components. In order to have access to Netafim's Water Resources solutions a contact has to be made with the nearest Netafim Office.
1. Consulting and feasibility study services
Every project starts with a chemical and hydrological analysis of a sample of water you can send our laboratories. Results serve as an important guidance for the optimal technology required.
2. Technological and financial services
Netafim provides a varied comprehensive of technology and financial services:
- Detailed engineering design
- Modern factory for equipment design and manufacture
Skilled construction crews
- Operation and maintenance crews
- Advanced laboratory services and mobile laboratory
- Financing solutions: Turn-key, B.O.O.T., water outsourcing
3. Supervision and project management services
Netafim offers its clients supervision and project management services, including assembly and maintenance:
- On-site training of operators
- Assistance during start-up
- Counseling and professional support during operation
- Monitoring and supervision for process optimization
- Periodical surveys
- Day-to-day and periodical maintenance
Water Resources - Scope of solutions
At Netafim water Resources covers two areas of activities.
The first is entitled as "ONE solution for one water source problem", and includes specialization in water purification, waste water treatment and desalination - solutions that enable water for drip irrigation and allow better quality of water for better crops.
The second area of activity, regarded as "FEW solutions to one water source problem" includes waste water treatment of agro-industry effluent. This new professional area enables agro-industrial natural effluents to be re-used in favor of creating supplementary energy power.
"ONE solution for one water source problem"
Water purification & Netafim
Water purification is the process of removing contaminants from a raw water source in order to increase water availability for a specific purpose such as irrigation.
A common purification process includes elements removal by applying one or few selected methods:
1. Flocculation and/ or coagulation – Flocculation refers to a process by which fine particulates are caused to clump together into flocks. Coagulation is a process where a chemical contributes to molecular aggregation.
2. Sedimentation - Describes the motion of molecules in solutions or particles in suspensions in response to an external force such as gravity, centrifugal force or electric force.
3. Filtration – A method of using filter screens to remove particles from the water that may otherwise plug up the system.. The size of the screens is expressed as mesh, with larger numbers denoting smaller openings in the screen. As an example, in drip irrigation, the recommended range of size is from 80 to 200 mesh according to the water quality and type of dripper.
4. Disinfection - Antimicrobial treatments that are applied to to destroy microorganisms.
5. Oxidation - An effective way to eliminating iron and Manganese in the water.
Applicative example:
Many projects took place in Australia where iron removal was necessary in order to be able to use the water for drip irrigation.
"ONE solution for one water source problem"
Waste water treatment - water recycling & Netafim
Water waste is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influences.
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) may include three serial processes:
1. Anaerobic treatment
2. Aerobic treatment
2.1 Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR)
2.2 Activated sludge process
2.2.1 Primary treatment - Mechanical treatment process
- Removal of large objects (screening)
- Removal of sand and grit
- Pre-precipitation
2.2.2 Secondary treatment - Biological treatment process
- Aeration system - Activated sludge
- Secondary clarifier
2.2.3 Tertiary treatment - Effluent chemical disinfection - Chlorine
Applicative example:
Israel is the country where the percentage of treated wastewater for irrigation is the highest with 75%. Spain is second in the world with only 25% of treated wastewater.
Developing countries represent the highest potential for Wastewater treatment plants.
"ONE solution for one water source problem"
Desalination & Netafim
Desalination is a separation process used to reduce the excess salt and other minerals from water in order to obtain fresh water suitable for irrigation or human/ animal consumption.
The water of the desalination process is generally with less than 500 mg/l dissolved solids, which is suitable for most agricultural, domestic, and industrial uses.
There are two types of water sources that require desalination:
1. Brackish water
2. Sea water
The leading desalination technology is RO – Reverse Osmosis based on membrane technology.
Membrane processes rely on permeable membranes to separate salts from water.
Netafim recommends and offers brackish water desalination based on reverse osmosis.
Applicative example:
Complete turnkey desalination projects were successfully accomplished in Greece, Albania & Kenya
Kenya success story: A 50-hectare farm elevating flowers wanted to upgrade its crops to grow roses for export using greenhouse technology. Due to brackish water the new operation was not possible. Netafim has analyzed the water, prepared an engineering design and delivered a 20-cubic meter per hour RO unit.
"FEW solutions for one water source problem"
Waste water treatment of agro-industry effluents & Netafim
Water is used in many agro-industrial processes, for cooling, washing and incorporation into products. Industry accounts for almost a quarter of worldwide water use and this figure will increase as economic development advances.
Netafim has the know-how to treat waste water of agro-industry effluents in favor of water reuse as energy power such as electricity.
Applicative examples:
Sugarcane mill in Thailand extracting liquids through the process of pressing sugarcane: Waste water treatment (WWTP) - Availability of water - Water reuse to produce electricity and increase level of energy self-sufficiency - Improving image through sustainable & ecological actions.
Forestry operation in India extracting cellulose through the process of paper production: Waste water treatment (WWTP) - Availability of water - Water reuse to irrigate the factory's landscape - Improving image through sustainable & ecological actions.
Orange juice production line in China extracting organic wastage through the process of production: Waste water treatment (WWTP) - Water reuse to produce electricity and increase level of energy self-sufficiency - Improving image through sustainable & ecological actions.
What does this mean for you?
Benefiting from our on-the-field engineering experience of water treatment, together with our leadership of drip irrigation, global presence and local customer support services, you can expect to achieve the best outcome possible of your water Resources, wherever in the world you may be. Welcome to feasible sustainable agriculture.
Related links
UN: Review of water resources statistics by country,Aquastat
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Water Environment Federation (WEF) – "Skills Builder" includes training materials and a specialized glossary.
WEF is a not-for-profit educational and techniacl organization (since 1928) WEF's  Mission is to preserve the global water environment


Australia: Sustainable Water Solutions brochure
Netafim Australia


Municipal Water Re-Use Opportunities



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