Climate change, rising sea levels, ground subsidence, and the salinisation of groundwater are all going to make fresh water increasingly scarce in the future. In addition to this, there are more and more periods of heavy rainfall. This rainfall could offer a solution for fresh water scarcity, although surface storage of rainwater requires many square metres of expensive land.

The large-scale storage of excess rain water underground could be the solution. Underground storage helps prevent salinisation and can bridge the gaps in time and storage space between water supply and water demand. Storage capacity can also be created in reservoirs to deal with periods of peak demand.

The issues mentioned above led Purple Pride grower Greenbrothers to create an underground water storage facility in January and February. This source acts as an alternative for the traditional water reservoir: it’s filled with the rainwater run-off from the roofs of greenhouses, which can then be used later on for watering plants. Therefore you can continuously fill and draw water.

The beauty of the ASR system is that you can store all the rainwater throughout the year, then as soon as the reservoir is full, the water can be discharged into the nearest drainage ditch. This results in quality water being wasted, of course, which during long periods of drought has to be compensated with less suitable tap water or even water from the ditches.

In actual fact, though, we’ll soon be storing more water than we need for watering the plants and so we’ll be storing good quality water in the soil, which in turn is good for the groundwater level.