Intelligent Irrigation

Posted by Chuck Harrell on May 26, 2015 11:00:00 AM

waterThe Indian's have been innovatively irrigating their nation for centuries which this article illustrates perfectly. India's step wells are a marvel of engineering that date back to the 11th century when "some genius realized that as the seasons change, the water table goes up and down.  So, the way the step well works is that you have stairs that reach all the way down to whatever depth they decided.   When there's a lot of water, it may come all the way up to the top so you just walk in and grab some water.   But as the season turns dry, the water table drops, and so does the water in the step well.  Not a problem, you just go down the steps until you reach the water.  Then, the next season if fills up again and the cycle continues."  Brilliant!

But now nearly 1,000 years later, the modern innovators of irrigation technologies, the Israelis, are offering their advice to the Indian farmers.   Due to the inherent water shortages associated with living in a desert, the Israelis needed to become adept at using their limited water supplies prudently.

Recent technology has enabled them to determine the exact amount of water required for each crop, so they are neither over or under watered meaning that all precious material can be savored.   And by monitoring environmental factors such as evaporation, radiation, and wind speed, precise levels of water wastage can be monitored to provide the most accurate cost analysis for farmers.   Not only does water have different pH levels, which are monitored and adjusted for the best conditions, it also has different levels of quality.  By separating the different water qualities into separate tanks, producers can determine where it is best suited. For example, in Israel, top quality water should not be used for growing cotton but reserved fro less hardy crops.

Through the use of digital sensors, the precise measurements and environment of the glass houses and poly tunnels can be controlled from a centralized location or from any remote location since the software used can be operated from a standard web browser.

In these times of changing climate where weather patterns are failing in their predictability, the use of technology to help conserve the best use is a powerful tool to encourage the optimum growth of plants.

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