Mexican scientists from the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) in collaboration with researchers from the University of Manchester, funded by the International Cooperation Fund for Science and Technology and the British Council of the Newton Foundation, developed a water saving system to measure the amount of soil water for agricultural purposes, to reduce the water wasted for irrigations in areas affected by drought or global warming.
The system uses the medical technique of electrical impedance tomography, which uses a radio and frequency measurement, explained researcher Jose Antonio Gutierrez from the National Technological Institute of Mexico.
By tuning the tool to operate at different frequencies it is possible to study different properties of the cultivation soils, information that can be used to save water. What the device provides is the possibility of observing the properties of different layers of the soil, in addition to recording the information in a database.
This system can save much of the water used for agriculture purposes
The project aims to provide the tool to know the amount of water in the soil and the conductivity properties in order to control and optimize the water resource.
Commonly, the water used in agriculture is pretty much wasted for various reason, including bad irrigation practices. This situation could be a serious problem for the countries affected by drought or global warming where every gallon of water is important and, thus, water saving is a goal, so this water saving system could be a solution.
The water saving system is already in tests
Right now the project is being tested in the state of Michoacan, where the largest amount of aquifers is concentrated on the exploitation. According to the scientist, in Michoacan strategic products are cultivated for the economy, the largest in irrigation districts, so it is of the utmost importance that research and technological development efforts focus on optimizing the state’s water resources.
If this would turn out successful, this water saving system could be used worldwide in every area affected by drought or global warming.