Economic and Environmental Viability of Commercial-Scale Aquaponics Systems


Aquaponics, a system combining agriculture and aquaculture, is an alternative to conventional farming that could improve food-security and mitigate environmental impacts. By cycling water and nutrients within the system, aquaponics reduces water usage and removes the need for petroleum-based chemical fertilizers. However, the body of empirical peer-reviewed research on the economic and environmental viability of these systems is relatively scarce. This project would perform a scientific analysis of the inputs and outputs of a medium-scale aquaponics system growing tilapia and tomatoes by measuring the parameters of water and power usage per edible biomass harvested. The system is housed at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and is projected to begin cycling water by mid-September.