Read Time: 2 minutes

Modern agriculture conserving more water with the help of digital tools and technologies

Digital Tools for Water Conservation

Water Conservation: Digital Solutions in a Changing Climate

The world today faces a variety of pressures on the supply of fresh water. Worldwide, farming uses 70 percent of the water from rivers, lakes, groundwater, and glaciers, known collectively as blue water. Regions that benefit from plentiful rainfall have an added source, called green water, that either evaporates or is used by plants.

Another source of pressure on fresh water supplies comes from a rapidly changing climate, which alters weather and precipitation patterns across the planet. When less rain falls (as compared to historical averages), farmers must adapt by irrigating more often. When more rain falls, farmers must also adapt, usually by selecting different seeds that are bred to tolerate wet soils.

In response to these circumstances, farmers are adopting more efficient irrigation systems, improving their ability to keep water in the soil.

Modern Irrigation

Next-Gen Sensors, Digital Tools, Precision Application

The most innovative approaches to water conservation on today’s farms usually begin with collecting data in real time, using a new generation of field and satellite sensors that measure soil moisture levels. Next, farmers can evaluate that data with digital tools such as advanced software and analytics. When necessary, they can apply water with precision tools like drip irrigation that provide only the amount of water each plant needs.

[unex_ce_side_by_side_images layer-name="Layer Name" rear_image_url="261" rear_image_url_filename="aquatek_2.jpg" front_image_url="260" front_image_url_filename="aquatek_1-1.jpg" id="content_guj0y5fkp" post_id="245"]

Modern Irrigation

Next-Gen Sensors, Digital Tools, Precision Application

The most innovative approaches to water conservation on today’s farms usually begin with collecting data in real time, using a new generation of field and satellite sensors that measure soil moisture levels. Next, farmers can evaluate that data with digital tools such as advanced software and analytics. When necessary, they can apply water with precision tools like drip irrigation that provide only the amount of water each plant needs.

[/ce_side_by_side_images]

Examples from Around the Globe

  • The AquaTEK™ partnership in Italy uses a three-part approach to improving irrigation practices: they educate growers on available tools and practices, introduce the most advanced field sensors, and distribute superior irrigation technology. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the program has achieved dramatic improvements, including:
    • Reduced water usage by 17 percent
    • Improved harvests by 27 percent
    • Increased energy efficiency by 20 percent
    • Cut nitrogen loss in groundwater by 78 percent
  • In Ica, Peru, a combination of approaches to conserving water helped reduce consumption at a major vegetable-producing facility. These included sheltering the plants with net houses to reduce evaporation, installing moisture sensors, and adopting a modified approach to pruning that permits plants to be grown closer together.

Always Looking Ahead

Water conservation has always been a goal achieved in part by embracing innovation. Farmers and others in agriculture have joined forces, sharing information with one another and constantly pursuing new solutions. More and more, those solutions use sophisticated technology to help farmers do their jobs in the most precise manner possible, moving the industry forward by using less natural resources.

Related Articles

Read Time: 3 minutes

How This Global Crop Is Going Local

Maize, known as corn in North America, is an important crop to both local economies and individual farmers around the world. Discover how global maize production in modern agriculture is helping to conserve energy.