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originally posted by: Aazadan
No, vertical farming involves stacking rows of crops that grow one above the other out of I think plastic tubing. I don't know all the specifics of the method, but it achieves such a high water efficiency because there's virtually no runoff, almost all of the water used goes directly to the food, there are also no losses to evaporation due to the closed environment and grows vegetables in a very space efficient method, it's a lot like hydroponic growing which is up to 20x more space efficient than just growing in a field, yet that still takes up even more space than this.
The big drawback is that because you're growing vertically, a lot of light from the sun gets blocked, the lower the food is the less sunlight it gets, this results in needing growing lights which require a good deal of electricity, but as I said California is pretty much uniquely positioned to take advantage of geothermal and that can compensate. Contrary to the claims of the coal lobby they aren't the cheapest electricity source in certain areas of the country.
Personally, I would call an investment like this into food and electricity production a worthy example of infrastructure spending.