Water Conservation at the Research Greenhouse Complex


Research Greenhouse Complex



The Research Greenhouse Complex (RGC) proposes to implement a method of sub irrigation, called ebb and flow, to reduce water usage. Compared to the common practice of overhead watering with drip irrigation, where you water the plant until the soil is saturated and the excess water drains through the bottom of the pot, the method of sub irrigation is much more water efficient. An ebb and flow system requires a ridged, watertight bench top that plants are grown on directly, a reservoir to store the water, and a pump. Water is pumped from a reservoir to bench tops that will remain flooded for 5-20 minutes while the soil absorbs the water. Unabsorbed water drains back into the reservoir for future use. Overhead watering can spread insects and water left on leaves can create havens for fungi and foliar diseases. This is greatly reduced when using an ebb and flow system as the foliage never gets wet. With this system, they will use less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.