Do you know the meaning of Smart Water?
The concept of Smart Water is understood as the intelligent management of water, benefiting from new technologies, especially artificial intelligence.
Thanks to these technologies will make possible the optimization in the use and management of water with costs that will decrease over time. In addition, the operation of these systems and everything that surrounds the water is treated with the utmost respect for the environment, since there is a real concern for this issue and, above all, for long-term sustainability. Today, water management is environmentally aware, from the level of the domestic user, through the companies to the governmental level.
In the agricultural sector, 70% of water worldwide is consumed in agriculture. In fact, this figure reaches 90% in most of the less developed countries. Without improved efficiency measures, if no action is taken to prevent it, the consumption of water for agricultural use is expected to increase by around 20% globally by the year 2050. Today, water resources are already under pressure and shortages of water affects around 40% of the world’s population.
The responsible and rational use of this precious resource, such as water, plays a crucial role in Gestiriego.
That is why we work every day to create intelligent irrigation systems that help to make sustainable decisions and actions. When we talk about this concept as Smart Water in agriculture we must understand that one of the most relevant issues is saving. Agriculture is the largest consumer of water worldwide, therefore with a high energy consumption. If we save water, we also save energy, and we have to work to make it a reality.
In order to develop this concept, we can name four objectives to make the most of water allocations.
1st Objective: Obtain the highest possible yield for each unit of water consumed, that is, take advantage of every drop of water. The scarcity of this resource forces us to go even further and ensure that the crops also obtain the highest possible yield in terms of production, quality, support of the plants, etc. There are already technologies at our disposal, such as dendrology, which consists of the use of sensors to measure the vigor, the circumference of the stems and trunks of the plants, as well as the size and quality of the fruits.
2nd Objective: Cover only and exclusively the specific water needs of each plant or crop. Provide the plants with the water they need, not one drop more or less. Plants require a very accurate dosage of moisture throughout the annual vegetative cycle. Moisture sensors placed at various depth levels will indicate the moisture index of the soil. Thanks to the information collected by the sensors we can monitor the installation and provide the doses of water strictly necessary to maintain an optimum level of humidity.
3rd Objective: Know the water needs of the plants according to the time of year and the vegetative cycle in which they are. Apart from the humidity sensors already mentioned, there are water stress meters that give us exact values of the state of the plant at all times. In addition, there are public research and development agencies that, thanks to information technologies, collect reliable data on water resources, soil and crops thanks to the meteorological stations that are distributed nationwide, promoting technology transfer to users. and involving them directly in the proper management.
4th Objective: The efficient use of resources in each moment, place or circumstance. Undoubtedly this is the most difficult thing to achieve, due to the too frequent droughts and the consequent scarcity of resources. So, when, how and where do we have to use these resources in times of drought? Let’s suppose that at a time of drought we have 50% less water than at a normal time. That is where the invaluable information collected in the 3 previous steps comes into play to help us decide when we will use the water, how we will distribute it and how much will be supplied to the plants. The final goal of all this artificial intelligence would be a structure of data that, correctly used with adequate software, could solve tasks with results that border on almost perfect efficiency.
Thank iagua for his great post about this concept!
In addition, “Smart Water”, not only has to do with agriculture but also goes beyond, means a sustainable and responsible use of water, where every human being, regardless of their geographical location and their material resources, always has water need. It means a world where access to water is the priority for every person who demands it. Water for everyone above any other interest. It means a fairer world.