- Drought is becoming a major problem, including in France
- Stanford University researchers offer farmers a new tool
- This should make it possible to improve crop irrigation
Water scarcity is becoming a major problem globally, and France is no longer immune. Recently, the Departmental Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales, for example, introduced an exceptional water moderation plan to preserve and protect this increasingly rare resource.
In this context, Stanford University researchers have developed a new irrigation optimization tool for farmers. This will help reduce their water consumption.
In concrete terms, this device makes it possible to quickly assess soil water loss through evaporation. It is a process by which groundwater liquid water returns to the surrounding atmosphere in gaseous form. However, this problem increases with global warming, which increases the risk of drought.
The Stanford scientists’ system works 100 times faster than existing models, all while maintaining a high degree of accuracy. Their tool is based on a clever combination of technologies like big data and Internet of Things.
Quoted by our colleagues from Phys.org, Daniel Tartakovsky, professor of science and energy engineering and lead author of the study, enthused: “Through this research, we are helping to fulfill the promise of smart agriculture to continue to feed billions of people around the world and protect our planet for future generations. »
Introducing this smart farming system, crops are watered only when they really need it: “Historically, irrigation has been largely decoupled from the needs of the plant at any given time. Drip irrigation, using smart farming methods, bucks this trend. »
It will take some time for these technologies to become more widely available to exhibitors, but in any case, this represents a real advance in the field’s operations. Last February, our colleagues gathering Figures reported from 2019 show water withdrawals by operation in France.
It was noted then that agriculture represents 3.2 billion cubic meters of fresh water. Larger but much lower than the amount of water withdrawn for cooling power plants, mainly nuclear power plants: 15.3 billion.