September 23, 2019
Latest News
Science & Technology

Mexican region gets first desalination plant for ag use in the Americas

By Juan Carlos Machorro


San Quintin, Mexico, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- Weather conditions in San Quintin, a region in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California, are good for growing crops year-round, but the lack of water in the area is forcing farmers to turn to innovative and environmentally friendly technologies, such as desalination, to deal with the problem.

The drought that affected San Quintin from 1985 to 2015 caused the amount of land under cultivation to fall from 28,000 hectares (69,135 acres) to 7,889 hectares (19,479 acres), a reduction of 72 percent.

A company called Grupo BerryMex recently announced that it was going to start operating the first agricultural desalination plant of its kind in the Americas in San Quintin, allowing fields to be irrigated.

Ernesto Guevara, director of business development for BerryMex, told EFE that by using modern technology to desalinate seawater, the company will be able to make a positive environmental mark on the area.

"Desalinating seawater is a technology that addresses two fundamental matters. First, it allows us to continue the agricultural production of berries in the San Quintin Valley and, secondly, it's an alternative source of water that is friendly to the environment," Guevara said.

The plant uses a process called reverse osmosis to remove the salt and produce water for agricultural use.

"This is not potable water," Guevara said.

The electricity for the desalination plant is partially generated with solar panels and the goal is to use 100 percent solar energy in the short-term, the BerryMex executive said.

The plant produces 225 liters per second of water and its capacity is expected to rise to 338 liters per second in the medium-term, Guevara said.

The project started in 2012 and took seven years to complete because the company had to conduct extensive environmental impact studies to avoid harming the arid area, the BerryMex executive said.

Similar agricultural desalination projects have been completed in Israel and Spain, but this is the first reverse osmosis plant built in Latin America, Guevara said.

Willie Hedrick, vice president of operations at BerryMex, said "San Quintin's economic growth is closely linked to sustainable access to water, given that the coastal areas of Baja California are characterized by a low level of rain."

Mexico has become an international leader in berry growing, ranking as the No. 2 producer in the world with exports totaling $1.7 billion in 2016.

The value of Mexico's berry exports grew at an annual rate of 17 percent in the past decade. EFE

News history
New study reveals giant size of extinct marsupials that once roamed Australia

Washington, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Paleontologists have found that a species belonging to an extinct genus of marsupial that roamed Australia some 25 million...

Disney CEO leaves Apple's board of directors ahead of streaming services war

San Francisco, USA, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company has resigned from Apple's board of directors – of which he had been a...

Bacteria in cash, pizza as medicine and other crazy experiments win Ig Nobels

Washington DC, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The number of deadly bacteria lurking in cash or the medicinal properties of pizza are some of the unusual experiments...

Russian scientists patent system to collect space debris

Moscow, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Student Russian scientists have patented a system of devices to remove space garbage from the Earth's orbit.

Remakes of iconic games steal limelight at Tokyo Game Show

By María Roldán

Bringing children in Peru up to speed with the internet

By Álvaro Mellizo

Water vapor detected in potentially habitable exoplanet's atmosphere

London, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists for the first time have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet of a size comparable to Earth, making...

Pioneering technology uses plants and microorganisms to produce electricity

By Mercedes Palomino

Science Museum explores how London became global hub for innovation

By Laura Sanfélix

Two viable embryos developed from northern white rhinos

Nairobi, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists working to save the northern white rhinos from extinction announced Wednesday that two eggs fertilized 10 days ago...

Indian space agency loses contact with lunar lander

New Delhi, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- India's space agency said Saturday that ground controllers lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft's Vikram lander...

Countdown begins for India's moon mission to touch down at lunar South Pole

New Delhi, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- The countdown began on Friday for Chandrayaan-2 to land a rover on the Moon, India’s most ambitious space program to look for...

Yamnaya steppe tribe that invaded Iberia advanced as far as India

By Elena Camacho

Baby hippopotamus is latest resident at Nicaragua zoo

Managua, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- A baby hippopotamus, the only member of the species in Nicaragua and which was rescued from a circus, starting Thursday is the...

Austrian technology art festival looks at AI's future impact on humanity

By Luis Lidon

Mexican region gets first desalination plant for ag use in the Americas

By Juan Carlos Machorro

Iran denies burning of its satellite Nahid-1

Tehran, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- Iran has denied the failure of the launch of a communication satellite on Saturday as alleged by the United States.

Soyuz MS-15’s crew undergoes tests ahead of flight to ISS

Moscow, Aug 30 (efe-epa).- The crew members of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Friday concluded the second day of tests before heading to International Space...

SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth with NASA materials

Washington, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The SpaceX CRS-108 Dragon space capsule returned safely to Earth on Tuesday loaded with assorted NASA materials, plunging...

Square marks boundary between haves, have-nots in Chile's capital

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Russia's Soyuz capsule with Fedor robot on board docks at ISS on 2nd attempt

Moscow, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, with the Russian Fedor robot as its only crew member, docked Tuesday at the International Space...

Dinosaur paleontology under threat in Argentina

By Pablo Ramón Ochoa

Soyuz carrying robot to attempt dock on ISS after failed attempt

Moscow, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- The Russian Soyuz MS-14 ship carrying android FEDOR as its sole crew member will try to dock on the International Space Station...

The tech hub that flourished against all odds in Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.