We are supporting a water purification project using plants to create fresh water for a floating dairy farm in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam has been selected as one of the 100 Resilient Cities since 2013. Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, this initiative is helping 100 cities around the world to become more resilient to the growing physical, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.
As part of its extensive programme to enhance its resilience, the city of Rotterdam is working with other organisations on innovative and sustainable solutions across different areas of its local economy.
One of these solutions is the world’s first floating farm, located in a former port area in Rotterdam that is undergoing urban regeneration. In Rotterdam, as in many other parts of the world, there is an increasing shortage of farmland – and a floating farm could pave the way as an inventive and sustainable solution for the future.
A floating urban farm
The Floating Farm uses advanced designs and processes to create a high-tech facility where around 60 cows live and graze happily while producing dairy products that are distributed and consumed locally. The specially constructed farm is a collaborative project between experts in dairy farming innovations (Courage Foundation), entrepreneurs in floating infrastructures (Beladon) and the local government.
Completed in 2017, the Floating Farm is now a fully functional high animal welfare farm that produces fresh milk and yogurt close to its consumers.
More importantly, the farm has also become a living lab and educational centre. In this futuristic facility, new ideas and solutions are developed and tested and are used to educate and inspire people about the vast possibilities of sustainable food production.
Ecological and sustainable farming
The Floating Farm’s model of production showcases many pioneering practices and technology created for an urban setting and population, and one that its innovators label as ‘transfarmation’.
An important element of the production process is the use of circular farming – one that focuses on making the Floating Farm self-sufficient, with minimal wastage and impact on the environment.
Around 80% of the farm’s cattle feed are discarded products such as bran and grain sourced from regional industries. Solar panels are used to generate energy needed to run the farm and manure from the cows is reused in local gardens and parks.
We are supporting a water purification project with Courage Foundation to create fresh, clean water for the Floating Farm. This experimental initiative is making use of plants to purify wastewater so it can be turned into clean, reusable water for livestock and other production activities on the farm. The plants used in the purification process will also be reused as cattle feed.