Dry Jordan launches project to grow crops from seawater

Water-poor Jordan has launched a project using seawater to produce crops with clean energy.

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, which contributed most of the $3.7 million cost, inaugurated the facility Thursday in the kingdom's Red Sea port city of Aqaba.

Haakon told reporters he was "impressed by the way innovative ideas have been translated into a plant the size of four football fields."

The facility, surrounded by rocky desert, uses seawater to cool greenhouses. Desalinated seawater irrigates crops, such as pesticide-free cucumbers. A small desalination station is irrigated by solar energy.

Last month, a report by Stanford University suggested that Jordan, one of the world's driest countries, could face more severe droughts unless new technologies are applied in farming and other sectors.