Water & Circular Greenhouse Economy

by Greenport West-Holland

Water & Circular Greenhouse Economy

by Greenport West-Holland

How can we encourage (greenhouse) growers to get insights and be involved in the relation between their production and their local environment's...

Help us share information!

Water & Circular Greenhouse Economy

by Greenport West-Holland

Eveline Stilma

Project Lead Biodiversity

All spots are filled.

Dive deeper

Problem statement

Greenhouse growers and growers in general are torn between their established working systems and the dynamic changes in the field, influenced by a flow of constant new information and hard to predict economical and environmental factors.

It can happen sometimes that a greenhouse releases volume and content to the general water space surrounding it, which causes pollution and long term effects on the local biodiversity. Many growers, who are eager to battle pollution and who are well in control of their systems, want to be able to show their good practices to policy makers and peers, as well as use that for better societal and market perception. Unfortunately, currently these conscious growers have no way of proving their good ways of working. Therefore, their reputation can suffer from accidental releases or poorer managed systems in their area. There should be a way to reward and encourage better ways of greenhouse management while at the same time supporting growers who need additional expertise on how to identify and improve a fault in their system.

The majority of growers have good intentions but accidents can happen and they can bring devastating consequences to both the grower and the ecosystem.

On the other hand, policy makers and organizations have also a struggle of identifying and responding timely to the changes in levels of nutrients and particles in the water. This makes it difficult to introduce adequate control measures and signal out accidents or illegal activity. In turn, such events will affect all growers in the area due to the lack of valid understanding where the problem originated from.

Respectively, the many growers feel overwhelmed by newly introduced regulations and modern technologies. Sometimes they are unsure how to properly use certain chemicals or how to update their water management in a sustainable manner.

Growers are very much influenced by climate changes and are in need of a robust system which can help them better manage and avoid water shortages or overflows. Introducing a closed water and nutrients cycle could potentially create a more secure and emission-free produce.

It is important to acknowledge that the growers’ community is very dependent economically on long term production efficiency which makes them more hesitant to take big entrepreneurial risks. The slower adaptation of the field is also justified by the huge consequences in both financial and ecological penalties. Some growers are having difficulties finding accessible information to help them understand the need to keep innovating. They often trust and rely on knowledge from personal experience which hinders them in catching up with the latest trends, research and circular economy ideas. Currently the majority of policy updates and data are presented out of reach for the target group, in a very complex academic manner.

Greenport wants to assist in making updated information and new regulations available in a language understandable to all and communicated in practical formats which can be exchanged between big or small, innovative or more conservative producers. The way to go forward is to encourage and facilitate the growers to learn from each other and to seek support in better understanding their greenhouse water management. The growers, working together with control and organizational representatives, can establish and maintain a sustainable local water management system that accounts for biodiversity preservation.


How can we encourage (greenhouse) growers to get insights and be involved in the relation between their production and their local environment's biodiversity by making local data easy to access and understand at all times and especially when they are having to adapt to modern requirements and possibilities instead of only relying on their own personal data and knowledge?


  • How can the (projected) results of a better managed water influence be represented in a practical way to help a grower in his finance and marketing activities?
  • How can we entice the growers into caring more about biodiversity?
  • How can we generate a detailed visual which will map out and identify the status of all water spaces in a greenhouse area instead of placing expensive measuring points?
  • How can we help growers to better understand the technologies working for their greenhouses by showing positive end results (ex: increase in what they were able to sell)?

This challenge involves making the influence of greenhouses’ water management on local biodiversity visible for growers, citizens, policy makers, nature organizations, banks and insurance companies, journalists and media, researchers and universities.

Read the article here


  • Scalable to use with other datasets in the future
  • Allowing the sharing knowledge from more experienced growers and from local data to peers who are seeking more trustworthy estimations of potential results from innovation and circular economy practices
  • Providing insights in evaluating or projecting scenarios of impact/risk taking of new nutrients and chemical use or of new tech adoption consequences
  • Doesn’t need to provide direct advice to growers (see reference example: Delphy)
  • Solution format is open for interpretation as long as it provides a way to communicate with the growers (map, dashboard, application, database, etc.)
  • Solution must be simple and straightforward for the target group
  • Simply requesting lists of pesticides or other information is not sufficient

Goals of the solution are for growers to use it for their benefit in promotion and loan or subsidy requests, to use it for applying the allowed and the correct amounts of pesticides, to justify their produce value and get a fair price from the markets, to learn and work together with others in order not to suffer from accidents or neighbouring poorer practices, to prevent getting unforeseen produced damage from water overflow/shortage, to control emissions control and impact on long term local ecosystem, to catching up with trends in an affordable and comfortable way.

Sources for open data

Other challenges

Updates from the Hackathon for Good world

DeepFake Alert

by Find Out Why

The technology that is used to create Deep Fakes and Synthetic Media is the same. However, the problem is that DeepFakes are deployed to cause harm.

Combating horizontal fraud

by undefined

The Netherlands’ online environment has become a comfortable setting for various types of cybercrime due to its high quality and dense access to the internet, predominant online trading, as well as a growing target group of more vulnerable users with different levels of cultural and tech literacy

Food Waste

by Invisible Foods

Today we produce enough food to feed 10 billion people. However, the population is only 7,5 billion. At the same time, in some parts of the world...