Begoña Tarrazona, a civil engineer and irrigation specialist at Idrica, explains current water scarcity issues, and what measures can be taken to overcome this situation.
Listen the full interview here
Q. We all know about programming watering at certain times of the day. However, could these settings be more accurate to avoid wasting water?
Climate change and scarce water resources requires optimizing water use.
Climate change and scarce water resources requires optimizing water use. This can be achieved through the GoAigua Smart Green technology platform, which uses advanced algorithms to calculate optimal irrigation frequencies and the amount of water required.
This platform uses data about the climate, the type of vegetation, soil type, topography and weather forecast to calculate the amount of moisture remaining in the soil. It can then generate customized irrigation plans for that area, preventing waterlogging due to over irrigation.
These solutions can be applied to gardens and sports fields, where water consumption is high.
Q. Agriculture is one of the sectors most affected by drought. Can this solution be used in farming?
Agriculture is heavily affected by the scarcity of water resources, accounting for 70% of global water consumption. Today, there are countries which cannot water their crops, for example in Morocco there is agricultural land which has fallen into disuse because of a lack of irrigation, generating major poverty.
At Idrica we have developed the GoAigua Agro Twin solution, which provides irrigation recommendations to optimize water use and avoid waterlogging. It enables us to monitor distribution networks and detect leaks very early on, among other features.
We must promote sustainable agriculture through improvements in efficiency. It is not only a question of how much water we use, it is also important to detect any leaks in the distribution networks buried underground. Therefore, digital transformation is necessary to be able to monitor and ensure no leaks occur.
Q. Should we assume that the lack of water is our reality, where our future lies? Are the leading companies in the water sector aware of this, or everything depends on innovation and technology?
Leaking or burst pipes causesan annual water loss of seven hundred billion liters per year. Utilities are aware of the problem, but there is a lack of resources at political level.
Subsidies are not enough. More desalination plants should be built, water from wastewater treatment plants and treated water should be used, aswell as improving the efficiency of all technological solutions.
The use of technology is extremely important to be able to have references of what has happened in the past and what is happening at present, to be able to understand the performance and efficiency of all the distribution networks.
Current circumstances are difficult, but this new scenario represents an opportunity for success. The use of technological platforms will help, but we must start thinking of using water from other resources. Since we are in Spain, we can desalinate water from the sea and use treated water, but we must anticipate and start applying these new technological solutions.