Quantifying water savings with greenhouse farming

Kelsey A. Czyzyk, Shayne T. Bement, William F. Dawson, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations


Greenhouses can help farmers reduce spoilage and increase yields, and therefore improve their livelihoods. As compared to open air farming, greenhouse farming requires less water due to reduced evapotranspiration. Current estimates on water savings vary from 10 to 100% and fail to clearly specify relevant test parameters such as the irrigation method, size of the greenhouse, or climatic conditions at the time of the study. This article focuses on a study conducted to accurately quantify the water savings in small-scale greenhouses. The test methodology involves a simplified pan evaporation measurement used with the Penman-Monteith and Hargreaves equations. Data, including air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and water loss inside and outside the greenhouse, were collected from similar greenhouses in Kenya and Cameroon. Results indicate that the water savings within greenhouses are around 50-90%. This significant reduction in water consumption allows for agricultural intensification as well as horticultural production in arid and semi-arid regions that make up over 80% of the land in several African countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479971930
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Event4th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2014 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 10 2014Oct 13 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 4th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2014


Other4th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • General Engineering


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