Grove Farm Pairs UF Technology with Rainwater Collection
GE Water & Process Technologies presented an eocmagination Leadership Award on Sept. 18 to Grove Farm Company, which used to run a 40,000-acre sugar plantation but now is making the transition to a community development and economic development firm.
The company has developed a water solution using GE's membrane ultrafiltration technology with a century old reservoir and irrigation system, which provides a sustainable resource for about 15,000 residents and visitors on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i. Grove Farm is collecting, storing, and treating rainwater to alleviate rising water scarcity.
Surface water collected and treated at the property's Kapaia Reservoir is becoming an increasingly important drinking water resource as the island's groundwater reserves decline from rising demand and reduced replenishment. The slopes of nearby Mount Waialeale, known as one of the wettest places on Earth, provide an abundant alternative water source, receiving as much as 460 inches of annual rainfall. Using its extensive network of irrigation ditches, Grove Farm directs a significant portion of the rainfall into the 75-acre reservoir.
GE's ZeeWeed ultrafiltration system at the compact, Grove Farm Water Purification Plant draws water from the reservoir and produces up to three million gallons of drinking water per day.
"Grove Farm has played an integral role in Kaua'i's history for nearly 150 years," said Warren H. Haruki, president and chief executive officer of Grove Farm. "We recognized the challenges facing Kaua'i and have implemented a sustainable solution to alleviate our island's dependence on traditional water sources. With the assistance of innovative companies such as General Electric, and the pioneering partnership with our local Department of Water, we are extremely proud of our Water Purification Plant and we will continue to explore new ways to benefit Kaua'i. Our broader goal is to implement sustainable technologies for renewable energy and food production."
Grove Farm Company completed construction and opened the water purification plant in September, 2005. Treated water from the plant is sent to the county of Kaua'i Department of Water, which has contracted a 15-year, public-private partnership with Grove Farm to purchase and distribute two million gallons of water per day to the surrounding homes and businesses.