Two 22,500 L rainwater tanks have been installed in the birdcage behind the Plant Genomics Centre (PGC). These tanks will be fed by rain water from the roof of the PGC building and the rain water will be used for irrigating research trials in the birdcage.

The installation of these tanks was funded through the project “Rainwater harvesting @ Waite” submitted by Sanjiv Satija from Wheat Research HUB to the University of Adelaide’s Ecoversity program under the “Green Project Fund – 2019”. This project started in May this year and installation was completed during the last week in October with support from Ecoversity, the School of Agriculture Food and Wine and the Wheat Hub.

The birdcage area behind PGC is a much in-demand experimental area on Waite campus and is booked to capacity every year. The poly tunnels provide a semi-controlled environment for plant growth and crop research. However, due to its extensive use and the use of tap water for irrigation, the soil is showing salt deposition. It is desirable to use rain water for irrigation to get rid of the extra salt in the soil.

Use of rain water for these plant growth facilities will result in savings of potable tap water, enhancing soil desalination using rain water, stopping further salt deposition through tap water and saving on cost of tap water usage.

The success of this project will provide an example of how rain water harvesting projects can be initiated and implemented on campus for other plant growth facilities.

Sanjiv Satija in front of the rainwater tanks

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