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By Sophia Pedigo, Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Dionysios Dionysiou
Awards: Presenter Award: Excellence in Research Communication
Presentation ID: 75
Abstract: As the U.S. population grows, the agriculture and food production industry are expected to keep pace with the growing demands while adjusting to the changing diets, producing foods under growing resource scarcities, adapting to climate change, and reacting to constant changes in the global economy. To accommodate this growing agricultural demand, more land and water is required. However, recent studies suggest that by 2050, water sources will not be sufficient; thus, innovative and sustainable solutions are required. Although more sustainable practices have been implemented in conventional agriculture, a more aggressive and sustainable approach is needed. Hydroponic growing systems offer an alternative to conventional farming and can significantly reduce land and water requirements while maximizing crop production. This research examines the current state of hydroponics in the U.S., challenges associated with these controlled environment growing systems, and potential technological solutions to combat challenges associated with the capital and operating costs of hydroponic equipment, phytotoxicity of water, and water treatment.