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July is Smart Irrigation Month

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Smart Irrigation Month was an initiative kickstarted by the Irrigation Association with the aim of educating individuals regarding the benefits of smart irrigation technologies, products, and services. Amongst many examples of water wastage, one is directly associated with sprinklers — people turn on sprinklers but forget to turn them off! Therefore, the concept of smart irrigation was founded to ensure the right technology is being used at the right time.

The purpose of Smart Irrigation Month is to raise public awareness through campaigns that promote efficient water use, saving money on utility bills, nurturing green spaces, and the protection of a community’s water supply. Why is this essential? Because more than nine billion gallons of water is used each day for landscape irrigation and over 50% of this water is wasted due to overwatering. Today, the Earth’s water reserves are diminishing since it has been used for irrigation of agriculture for decades.

Irrigation is believed to have started in Egypt, in Mesopotamia. People directed an overflow of water in any one region to a place where water for agriculture was required. The automation of irrigation systems began in the 1800s, and there has been no turning back since then. The shift towards automatic irrigation systems occurred because the value of a house at that time was often based on the condition of its lawn. To ensure the right amount of water was provided to the plants, the sprinkler system was introduced in the 1950s. This was followed by several innovations that controlled the activity of these sprinklers.

So what’s so smart about Smart Irrigation?

Smart Irrigation refers to the implementation of advanced technologies and data-driven approaches in agricultural irrigation systems. The goal is to optimize water usage and improve overall efficiency in irrigation processes. Here are some of the key aspects that make Smart Irrigation smart:

  1. Data-driven decision-making: Smart Irrigation relies on real-time data from various sources such as soil moisture sensors, weather forecasts, evapotranspiration rates, and crop water requirements. By analyzing this data, farmers can make more informed decisions about when and how much to irrigate, ensuring that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time.
  2. Automation and remote control: Smart Irrigation systems often include automated features that allow farmers to remotely control and monitor irrigation processes. This reduces the need for manual intervention, saves time, and ensures that irrigation occurs even in the absence of farmers on-site.
  3. Precision irrigation: Instead of uniformly watering an entire field, Smart Irrigation enables farmers to apply water precisely where and when it is needed the most. This targeted approach ensures that water is utilized efficiently, reducing wastage and potential waterlogging issues.
  4. Water-saving capabilities: By optimizing water usage based on data and automation, Smart Irrigation systems can significantly reduce water consumption. This is especially crucial in regions facing water scarcity or areas where water resources need to be conserved.
  5. Integration with other technologies: Smart Irrigation can be integrated with other agricultural technologies, such as crop monitoring systems, drones, and satellite imagery. These integrations allow for a comprehensive understanding of crop health, water needs, and potential issues, leading to more effective and sustainable agricultural practices.
  6. Adaptation to weather changes: Weather patterns can vary significantly, and Smart Irrigation systems can adjust irrigation schedules and amounts accordingly. For example, during periods of heavy rainfall, the system can reduce or pause irrigation to avoid overwatering.
  7. Improved crop yields and quality: With precise control over water supply, crops can receive the right amount of moisture, leading to improved yields and better-quality produce.
  8. Cost savings: While the initial setup of Smart Irrigation systems may require an investment, the long-term benefits, such as reduced water and energy costs, improved crop productivity, and minimized labor expenses, can result in cost savings for farmers.

Overall, the intelligence of Smart Irrigation lies in its ability to harness data, automation, and precision to optimize water usage and create a more sustainable and productive approach to agriculture. It helps farmers adapt to changing environmental conditions, save resources, and make better-informed decisions to ensure the future of agriculture remains both fruitful and eco-friendly.

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2 thoughts on “July is Smart Irrigation Month

  1. I’m watering my lawn every day so it stays nice and green.

    1. zero enforcement so go for it

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