EPIC Green Solutions is continuing to impress on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with their recently installed sea water plot at Yas Links Golf course. The Paspalum turf was installed on the 17th of January 2012. which is the same turf that is on the golf course. The other plant life that was installed on the 4th January, 2012 include:
The EPIC System has been used in past applications in the region to grow salt tolerant species such as Sesuvium Portulacastrum. When the plant life initially comes into contact with sea water, it must go through a hardening process to wean it onto the salt water. This is commonly carried out in a nursery however, this project has demonstrated how EPIC can effectively undertake the hardening process via subsurface irrigation on site.
This is done by initially pumping water through the system directly from the sea as well as adding a proportion of TSE water into the inlet valve at the same time to introduce a combination of seawater and TSE water, which will then be circulated through the system. As time progresses, less and less TSE water will be used.
So far, the hardening process has been a huge success and there is virtually no stress on any of the plants and they are becoming well established. The TSE water will gradually be reduced over the next 6 weeks until the plants are running the cell on 100% sea water. It has also been found that the EPIC System Gravel-Sand profile and its slow delivery of the water to the roots has a 'multiplying' effect on the plants tolerance level to salinity.
It should be noted the gulf water is about 52,000 ppm while normal ocean water is about 36,000ppm.
A variety of plants were chosen with varying levels of tolerance to salinity. EPIC are also investigating the desalinization effect from the Epic system by dividing the cell into separate areas that only allows water from the one side to the otherside through capillary action.
This is to prove that plants not normally associated with growing in a sea water environment can be adapted to sea water irrigation through the use of the EPIC System. EPIC is most confident that this will be a success and therefore will revolutionize the use of seawater irrigation and demonstrate the sustainability and potential worth.
In terms of measurement, EPIC will use an EC meter to monitor the salt levels in both the soil and the water. Periodically samples will also be taken to the lab for a complete analysis of the makeup of the TDS.
It is believed that the success of this project, which is already proving inevitable, will change the face of irrigation in the region and continue to show the versatility of the EPIC System.