Home / News & Videos / News / Desert & Water Research /

Tech Ingenuity Helps the Desert Bloom with Produce

Tech Ingenuity Helps the Desert Bloom with Produce

March 19, 2012

Desert & Water Research

Sci-Tech Today — In the arid Arava valley, which lies between the Negev and the Mediterranean Sea, BGU researchers are able to grow produce despite the region’s scarce less than one inch per year of rainfall.

Naftalie Lazarovitch

Dr. Naftali Lazarovitch shows off his produce grown in the desert

BGU researcher Dr. Naftali Lazarovitch of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR), has developed alternative methods of finding water to grow vegetables in this region. In this case, Lazarovitch and his team look to the ground, instead of the sky, for the water needed to cultivate and grow produce such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and cantaloupe in the desert.

Crop cultivation in this arid environment uses irrigation that comes from ground water six feet below the surface. The dry climate leaves little room for watering error, as one day of missed moisture can be the difference between an abundant or dried out crop. But luckily there’s an app for that.

With a sophisticated set of electric sensors, Dr. Lazarovitch is able to receive moisture level readings at any time of day to his smartphone.

The techniques being perfected at BGU are being shared with area farmers to help them succeed and expand their output.

Read more on Sci-Tech Today >>