One million litres per day: Belgian company makes water available during drought

One million litres per day: Belgian company makes water available during drought
The sugar beet harvest campaign of sugar producing company Tiense Suiker. A sugar beet contains about 75% water. Credit: Belga

Belgian sugar-producing company Tiense Suikerraffinaderij in the province of Flemish Brabant will make purified residual water available to farmers and green services that have seen their water supply being limited as part of the drought-mitigating measures.

The ongoing lack of precipitation in Belgium resulted in a restriction on water pumping from various waterways for nature and agriculture, which is seeing harvests grow smaller. Farmers, green services or other players affected by this can now collect up to 1 million litres of water, around 40 trucks, per day from Tiense Suikerraffinaderij.

"A sugar beet contains about 75% water. This is recovered during the beet campaign and reused as washing water and process water," Jan Ingels, Director of the Sugar Factories said, adding that water is in the "DNA of a sugar factory."

"It is this water that we gladly make available to the farmers of the region, the green services or other players in need," he added. The first water collection took place on Friday morning.

Long-term water recovery

The company's factory has been purifying water since the 1980s, and for the last four years, has made this available to farmers and the city's green services. However, in light of the increasing drought problems, it is expanding the project which has been dubbed "The Tiense Watervelden."

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"The aim is to recover and purify even more water to provide drinking water for 10,000 families and extra irrigation water for farmers, in cooperation with the Water Group," a press statement from the company read.

Anyone interested in collecting this water can apply by sending an email to tnnportiers@raftir.be. Farmers can apply via their contact at the agricultural department.


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