Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Floating Farms

       In the ever-growing environmentally sustainable movement, the Forward Thinking Architecture Company, out of Barcelona Spain, has a new innovation in the farming industry that could revolutionize how we farm forever. Their design for a floating farm “would feature 2.2 million square feet of fish farms, a hydroponic garden, and solar panels on the roof to power the barge. They could be anchored to the sea beds of oceans, lakes, and rivers, and could be moved around by ship as needed.” In addition just one smart farm facility would produce about 8 tons of vegetables and 1.7 tons of fish every year; and that each farm would pay for itself within 10 years.” This is a tremendous innovation. In many third world countries food, water, and land to grow on are all very scares. The proposed floating farm has no limitations on space, it can be moved anywhere in the world by boat, and is completely self sustainable.  The ocean covers more than %70 of the earth’s surface so space is not an issue. It has a desalinization plant on it as well to produce fresh water for both the crops and fish. Although “James Quinn, professor of environmental science and policy at the University of California, Davis, thinks the company's cost estimates are optimistic at best.” He points out, it may be very costly and seem impractical, but it is merely the first step. Sure, one of these proposed farms may not make a huge difference, and may cost an exorbitant amount, but imagine thousands all tied together, with better and more cost efficient technology, to create massive farm systems in the middle of the ocean. Then imagine several of these mass farms and we can begin to see the kind of impact these farms could have. This could soon be the future of farming. Self-sustainable ecosystems designed to pump out food and water to help feed the millions of starving people today. They can be as big as we want, putting no limitations on how much food we can make. “Worsening climate trends and an ever-growing population are pushing us toward the edge of a global food crisis. With worldwide populations expected to soar to 9.6 billion by 2050, food production will have to increase by 70% worldwide and by 100% in developing countries to keep up.” So now is the time, more than ever, to revolutionize the farming industry in a positive way. The need for this type of technology has been there forever. Droughts and natural disasters could soon be worries of the past for farmers, as there is almost unlimited ocean water, and these farms can be moved anywhere by boat. They can always have ideal climates and conditions for optimal growing. The possibilities are endless, as well as applications, but one thing is for sure, much more research and testing is needed before we will ever see one of these marvels afloat in the water.

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