5 glimpses of the future of water
Geege Schuman stashed this in Drought
The agriculture sector gobbles up three-quarters of all water used in the U.S. And while farmers don’t generally irrigate with abandon, it’s hardly a precision science. That means plenty of crops are getting far more water than they really need.
One solution comes from on high: from drones, unmanned aerial vehicles that can scope out—with far better resolution than satellite imagery—everything from plant health to moisture levels to erosion to yield. That kind of information can help farmers decide far more precisely how much water each crop needs.
“We can determine an amazing number of things,” says Sam Routson, chief administrative officer of Winnemucca Farms, the biggest agriculture outfit in Nevada.
Farmers walking the field usually miss the proverbial forest because they see only a few plants at a time. Drones reveal large patterns that aren’t visible up close—swaths of fungal or pest outbreaks and even variations in soil quality. They also map images of the spectrum the human eye cannot see—the infrared—and with these multispectral images and powerful processors can pinpoint which crops are healthy and which ones are not. You can pick up an agricultural drone for under $1,000, about what it cost in the old days to hire a manned aircraft with a mounted camera for an hour.
Today I learned that the average American takes an 8.2-minute shower that uses 17.2 gallons of water.
IoT transpiration devices think they can tell when a crop producing plant/tree/bush/whatever is thirsty and deliver exactly how much or how little that is needed.
That would be awesome. I welcome a future with exact water needs monitored and delivered.