Water wonder

May 13, 2011
Water wonder

A brilliant water saving idea by UNSW engineering academics Greg Leslie and Bruce Sutton has impressed the judges on ABC TV’s New Inventors program.

Associate Professor Leslie, of the School of Chemical Engineering, and Professor Sutton, formerly of the University of Sydney and now a Visiting Fellow at UNSW, won their night on the popular program and will now go on to the finals, to be held later this year.

The pair won for ROSDI, their Reverse-Osmosis Sub-surface Drip Irrigation system, which allows salty to be used in crop irrigation without energy-intensive water treatment.

ROSDI uses pipes made from reverse-osmosis membrane, like that used in desalination plants, to filter salt from brackish groundwater for crop in times of drought or low water availability.

Water wonder

Drip-feed ... a diagram of the ROSDI concept

The system uses the suction force created by a plant’s roots to draw water through the membrane, dispensing with the need for pumping.

New Inventors judge james Bradfield Moody described ROSDI as a "really elegant, potentially world-first" concept.

ROSDI also won the Eureka Prize for Water Research and Innovation in 2010.

The technology is being commercialised by NewSouth Innovations, UNSW's technology commercialisation company.

Explore further: Saltwater solution to save crops

More information: VIDEO: Watch their New Inventors appearance

Related Stories

Saltwater solution to save crops

September 11, 2008

Technology under development at the University of New South Wales could offer new hope to farmers in drought-affected and marginal areas by enabling crops to grow using salty groundwater.

Nutrients in water may be a bonus for agriculture

November 24, 2008

Agriculture producers may find they don't have to bottle their water from the Seymour Aquifer in the Rolling Plains to make it more valuable, according to Texas AgriLife Research scientists.

Energy-efficient water purification

January 14, 2009

Water and energy are two resources on which modern society depends. As demands for these increase, researchers look to alternative technologies that promise both sustainability and reduced environmental impact. Engineered ...

Wastewater produces electricity and desalinates water

August 6, 2009

A process that cleans wastewater and generates electricity can also remove 90 percent of salt from brackish water or seawater, according to an international team of researchers from China and the U.S.

Britain unveils desalination plant for London reservoirs

April 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Britain has brought online a new desalination plant near London capable of providing the city with 150 million gallons (568 million litres) of water per day, should the need arise. At a cost of £270 ...

Recommended for you

Dutch create world's largest man-made wave

October 5, 2015

In a country where most people live below sea level, studying the oceans is a matter of survival. Now Dutch scientists have created the world's biggest man-made wave in a bid to prepare for the worst.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.