I know there are a lot of factors that would impact this...

  • Plant type.
  • Plant neediness (i.e., even sibling plants will possess different needs, defects, etc).
  • Automation efficiency.
  • Water & nutrients quality.

And that is barely touching the surface, but assume that...

  • We only have 1 healthy adult (meaning fully grown) plant who transpires 90% of absorbed water. The other 10% fuels photosynthesis, cell growth, etc..
  • Its nutrient levels/requirements are (somehow) perfectly monitored/satisfied.
  • The hydroponics system is enclosed s.t. nearly all the transpirated water is reintroduced into the water supply, rather than evaporated.
  • The recycled water is kept clean & nutritious by an automated system.

So my questions are...

  • Is it possible to create a system where the aforementioned 10% accounts for the only loss of water?
  • Am I missing any other significant source(s) of water loss?
  • Are there implementation factors which would jeopardize the plant's health?
  • $\begingroup$ don't forget photosynthesis removes water from the system by converting it into oxygen and sugars. thats is why finding the right symbiotic fungi can be important too, they are creating the oxygen and sugar back into co2 and water. $\endgroup$ – John Mar 30 '19 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @John "The other 10% fuels photosynthesis, cell growth, etc.". Introducing fungi is an interesting idea but I am not sure that it would be able to reclaim any of that 10%. Glucose gets converted to sucrose, cellulose, & (in times of excess, stored as) starches/oils/etc. Leaking anything back into the water wouldn't be in the plant's best interests. Also, fungi (like all living things) requires water so, if anything, its presence would hasten the rate of water consumption, no? $\endgroup$ – Landon Mar 30 '19 at 5:19
  • $\begingroup$ it would require more starting water, but fungi like animals coverts oxygen and sugars into water, it will never account for all of it but it will reclaim some of it. You need to make differentiation between water that is lost from the system by being converted into other compounds vs water that is simply absorbed. I may be getting confused by what you mean by "closed system", Is water being lost to the atmosphere or is it an air tight system? $\endgroup$ – John Mar 30 '19 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @John "The hydroponics system is enclosed s.t. nearly all the transpirated water is reintroduced into the water supply, rather than evaporated". I will read more about the fungi concept but would you like to take a shot at answering the 3 questions? $\endgroup$ – Landon Mar 30 '19 at 16:34

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