In many coastal areas, fresh water is quite scarce and supplies for agricultural purposes are limited.
Climate change and sea-level rise are expected to result in a further decline in the availability of fresh groundwater and surface water. A possible solution is to reduce the amount of water required for farming by making potatoes more salt-tolerant.
Potato company C. Meijer BV is testing the salt tolerance of a number of potato varieties in Zeeland. Deltares is involved in monitoring the growth and development of the potato plants when subjected to different types of saltwater management, as well as the monitoring and modelling of the salt in the subsurface water system. The potatoes will be exposed to even more types of salt-water management in the 2016 growing season.
Deltares will then identify the specific areas in the province of Zeeland can be used for the cultivation of salt-tolerant potatoes. This will involve drawing on the results of the FRESHEM project, which mapped out the depth of the fresh and saline groundwater in Zeeland from a helicopter.
In this project Deltares worked together with the following partners: