|Pentair and Urban Organics Honored as 2017 Agriculture Project of the Year by the WateReuse Association|
LONDON, United Kingdom - September 13, 2017 - Pentair, a global leader in sustainable water solutions, and aquaponics farming innovator Urban Organics, were awarded the "2017 Agriculture Project of the Year" by the WateReuse Association at its Annual WateReuse Awards for the recently opened 87,000-square-foot indoor aquaponics farm in Saint Paul, Minnesota. As one of the largest commercial aquaponics facilities in the world, the vertical farm utilizes less than 10 percent of the water that would be required for conventional farming while producing 275,000 pounds of fish and 475,000 pounds of organic produce annually.
"Seventy percent of the world's water is used for agriculture. As the world's population continues to grow, the increased demand for food will put tremendous stress on the world's supply of water for agriculture," said Karl Frykman, president, Pentair Water. "We joined forces with Urban Organics to help accelerate the development of large-scale modern aquaponics as we believe it can provide a real commercial option to help solve this growing food dilemma, and are honored to have this project recognized by the WateReuse Association."
In aquaponics, the fish provide the nutrients the plants need to grow, and the plants act as a filter to improve the water quality for the fish. With advanced water filtration technology developed by Pentair, the Urban Organics system was designed to allow the farm to decouple the fish water from the plant water. This allows Urban Organics to raise fish species in cold water with low nutrient levels, alongside plant species in warm water with high nutrient levels by capturing, treating, concentrating and reusing the waste nutrients from the fish. By reusing the water over and over again, the system utilizes less than 10 percent of the water that would be required for conventional farming. A gravity-fed design, powered by energy-efficient pumps, is employed to minimize energy use, and LED lighting is used to further reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent.
"Our collaboration with Pentair has helped us achieve our vision of creating a new model for urban agriculture that ensures access to healthy foods, while using significantly water than traditional agriculture," said David Haider, co-founder of Urban Organics. "Our local market will get the benefit of our fish and greens, but there will also be a worldwide benefit as we continue to learn from this model and apply its lessons to other locations in the future."
Fish and produce production at Urban Organics is underway, and the farm is expected to be at full capacity in early 2018. Fully certified by the USDA as an organic produce farm, Urban Organics is growing a variety of fresh greens, including green and red kale, arugula, bok choy, green and red romaine, Swiss chard, and green and red leaf lettuce, alongside sustainably-raised Atlantic salmon and arctic char.
Pentair and Urban Organics first started working together when Urban Organics opened its inaugural aquaponics farm in 2014 in the former Hamm's brewery building in St. Paul. Pentair, with its innovative technologies in water systems and solutions and biological and technical expertise, worked closely with Urban Organics to design, install and engineer the world-class system. To learn more about Pentair's aquaculture and aquaponics solutions, visit pentairAES.com.
The Annual WateReuse Awards were held September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz., during the 32nd Annual WateReuse Symposium. The awards program highlights utilities, businesses, and people that provide leadership in advancing water reuse. The WateReuse Association is the only national trade association dedicated solely to advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse.