What is in this article?:
- Entrepreneurs and agricultural pioneers are eager to find new ways to feed the world’s growing appetite with a scarce water supply.
From left: Henrik Skov Laursen, director of Grundfos Pump Co. and chair of Blue Tech Valley; Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s; and Bill Smittcamp, president and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods.
Beneficial waste water
Another panelist, Delshawn Brown, environmental manager with Cargill Food Solutions in Fresno, talked of steps being taken at that plant to save and re-use water, including reclaiming water from condensers and using it for cooling.
Brown said portable water meters are being used for monitors, and employees are encouraged to take steps such as posting “water leak repair tags” to call attention to waste. Employees are also rewarded for water-saving suggestions.
Other speakers at the conference talked of using technology to harvest beneficial waste in water. For example, phosphate, which may be in short supply years from now, could be among materials recovered in that way, said Slav Hermanowicz, a professor in environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.
Ross Sirigusa, director of global agriculture with HJ Heinz Inc., talked of his company’s efforts to increase grower efficiency in various countries that supply processing tomatoes. He said those efforts include sharing some techniques piloted by Woof Farming.
Formerly CEO of the California Tomato Growers Association, Sirigusa said having multiple efficient suppliers abroad is vital “because, with the water situation in California, we have to look to other places.”
Despite its challenges, Woof said, California continues to grow nearly 94 percent of the entire world’s processing tomatoes.
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