Grundfos approved distributor ConServ Engineering Services has supplied an innovative water solution to provide sustainable employment in agriculture in rural Namibia.
Approached by the aid project Jojoba For Namibia Trust, the company selected a Grundfos submersible groundwater pump in a water supply design for a jojoba plantation in the Omdel Dam area north-east of Hentiesbaai.
Although the jojoba is the ideal desert plant and only requires a little water, one of the biggest challenges in the desert environment of Namibia is the lack of water. Where the plants can be successfully grown, they bear nuts once a year which can be pressed for oil of export quality.
“In the first phase of the water supply project in October 2020, we installed a Grundfos SP7-37 pump into the jojoba plantation’s borehole,” says Mark Riehmer of Conserv Engineering Services. Drawing on renewable energy from the sun, the pump is powered by 18 solar modules which the company also installed, along with an RSI 5500 inverter. This phase will pump water about 1,5 km to the first storage tank, with a pipeline incline of a couple of metres.
“This system has been designed in such a way that the yield of the pump can be increased in future to supply more storage tanks along a 5 km pipeline, with a total elevation of 80 m,” says Riehmer. The final layout of the system will include 36 solar modules and will have a yield of 50 m³ per day at the last water point.
The Jojoba For Namibia Trust reported that they now have more water than they expected, and can start expanding the plantations faster than they had planned. The trust supports the establishment of jojoba plantations in the communal areas of Namibia, focusing on providing the rural population with a sustainable business model and employment opportunities. The oil that is pressed from the nuts is promoted as an antibacterial agent which is rich in pro-vitamin A, E and B. It is exported to Europe, mainly for use in the cosmetic industry.
“With this sustainable water solution, the jojoba plantation and the local community will benefit for decades to come,” says Riehmer. “A future of economic empowerment opportunities has been created for the coming generations.”