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How much water do you need to grow an orange?

There’s a tension at the heart of growing oranges commercially. Orange trees like lots of sunshine and lots of water, but lots of sunshine tends to mean not much water. Compounding the challenge is that in many places, irrigation systems are open channel, so much of the already scarce water evaporates.

It doesn’t have to be this way. When 1,800 farmers near Valencia, Spain, replaced their open channel irrigation system with an 11,000 metre GRP pipeline and drip irrigation network, water consumption fell by a third while orange production increased by a third. And the time to first fruit of young orange trees fell by two years. So, less water used, more food produced. That’s the kind of sustainable food production we need more of.

Conclusion:
33% less water per hectare
30% more fruit per hectare

 

Watch the movie: growing oranges in Valencia Spain