The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Giant Solar Floating Farm Could Produce 8,000 Tons of Vegetables Annually
The world is less than 40 years away from a serious problem: producing enough food for 9 billion mouths. But with climate change cutting more than a quarter of crop yields by 2050, innovators must devise strategies to confront dwindling global food supplies.
The Barcelona-based design company's Smart Floating Farms (SFF) concept is a sustainable, solar-powered vertical farm that floats on pontoons, making it possible to grow food off a coast, in the open sea or just about any large body of water. The designers estimate that SFF can produce an estimated 8,152 tonnes of vegetables and 1,703 tonnes of fish annually.
The farm is comprised of three levels and features innovative agricultural technologies that are already in use around the globe. It can be modified or stacked in different ways to suit the needs of respective locations.
The top level incorporates rainwater collectors for irrigation needs, photovoltaic panels for electricity and skylight openings to provide natural light for plants. It's also possible to integrate other renewable power technologies such as micro wind turbines or wave energy converter systems.
These solar-powered floating farms could cut the reliance on imported food and reduce number of miles that food has to travel to get to our plates.Forward Thinking Architecture
The second level features a greenhouse and hydroponic systems (which allows crops to grow year round in any weather and without soil).
"Because it does not require natural precipitation or fertile land in order to be effective, it presents people who are living in arid regions and others with a means to grow food for themselves and for profit," the designers said.
The second level features hydroponics, which is a method of growing crops without soil. Forward Thinking Architecture
Lastly, the ground level is designated for offshore aquaculture. According to the designers, this cage fishing method takes place in the open sea and eliminates the exposure to wind and waves.
This level also includes a hatchery where fish eggs are incubated and hatched, a nursery for growing fish, a slaughterhouse and a storage room to hold the fish before they are ready for the market.
Workers on the bottom level catch fish and other seafood in an enclosed farm. Forward Thinking Architecture
“Facing the current challenges of cities growing, land consumption and climate change, I believe projects like the Smart Floating Farms can help change some of the existing paradigms which have led us to the present situation and open new possibilities which can improve the quality of human life and the environment," said SFF project director Javier F. Ponce on the company's website.
The designers said the farm is ideal for many large cities or densely populated areas with access to water, such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Tokyo, Singapore, Mumbai, Jakarta, Cairo, Hong Kong, Shangai, Sao Paulo, Osaka, Bangkok, Shenzen, Istanbul, Montreal, Seoul, Karachi, Sydney and more.
With more people moving away from farms and into cities, advancements in urban agriculture is more important than ever.
The company says the project design is flexible enough to adapt to local food production needs and can be located close to many mega-cities or dense populated areas with water access.Forward Thinking Architecture
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.
Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.
By Dave Cooke
So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.
By Richard Connor
A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.