Given the implication that Plantae has in optimizing the use of water, we are going to try to explain what the water footprint is and how we can improve its indicator with an adequate precision agriculture .
What is the water footprint?
Arjen Hoekstra defined in 2002 the water footprint as “the volume of water necessary to obtain the products and services consumed by the inhabitants of a country, of a region or by a person ».
That is, the water we need to produce everything we consume, for hygiene, cleaning and any service we use. Therefore having an indicator that measures this amount will be important to regulate water resources.
Types of water we use
The types of water are distributed by colors:
Blue water: is the water that comes from rivers, lakes and that we mainly use for irrigation or animal consumption.
Green water : it is the water of rain, snow or hail. It goes directly to agriculture. Naturally nourishes all kinds of agricultural elements. Cleanses the atmosphere and seeps into everything. It also accumulates in rafts that we can then use for irrigation.
Gray water : the set of water that we need to dilute pollutants, excess fertilizers and that can be reused at times.
Golden yellow water : the one that we desalinate with chemical products and is normally used for urban use in cleaning services. It is not suitable for human consumption and little for agricultural use due to the agronomic problems that can be generated, apart from the very high cost.
In the diagram we indicate that the four types of water give rise to a total that is used in different ways, the majority in agriculture and livestock.
Formula to calculate the Water Footprint of a specific crop or plot
It is necessary to know some concepts that lead to the calculation of the water footprint.
HH (PARCELA) = AV(PROD) + AV(IMPORT)
HH (total) is the total volume of water in a country for distribution and consumption.
AV (PROD) OR VIRTUAL WATER : is the water consumed for the production of the harvest.
strong> AV (IMPORT) OR IMPORTED WATER : is the water consumed by the inputs of the plot or post-harvest production processes.
The Water Footprint (HH) is the quotient between HH (plot) and the total kilos harvested.
Plantae involved with precision agriculture to optimize the water footprint with sensors / probe
All the amount of water that we use or consume is not destroyed, it is transformed. One evaporates, another passes to the crops, but all within a cycle as we see in the diagram.
Various studies measure the amount of water needed by crops that are the largest consumers of water on the planet.
The water that we can control the most is irrigation, which can be blue from rivers, swamps, lakes or green due to accumulation in ponds and direct irrigation.
To measure whether or not a crop needs irrigation, it is best to measure the humidity of the subsoil at different depths, as we can do with Plantae sensors.
Plantae and the water footprint
With our technology of sensors and probes, meteorological data, satellite images and terrain analysis we achieve:
- First modernize irrigation.
- Inform and assess which is the best irrigation system .
- Measure the humidity of the subsoil or wet bulb with different depths adapted to the root system of each type of crop.
- Calculate the amount of water by installing flow meters that measure consumption while indicating to the farmer or person in charge the irrigation flow, avoiding errors and observing if the operation is correct.
- Control the temperature of the subsoil with sensors to prevent the risk of frost or heat waves that affect the crop and thus be able to adjust the irrigation and try to avoid evaporation and possible diseases such as fungi.
- And it is very important to minimize the accumulation of salts by controlling the conductivity and therefore avoid the formation of gray water because we will not need so many phytosanitary products.
Optimizing the water footprint with humidity sensors / probe, soil temperature and relative humidity, conductivity, from the Plantae company is essential for agri-food !!.