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Feeding More With Less Water New watersaving technologies are developed in high-income economies, but making water-efficient agriculture accessible to small farmers is crucial to revolutionizing agriculture in low-income economies.

Data-Driven Irrigation Innovative Soil Polymer for Water Savings BountiGel by mOasis is a non-toxic soil additive that decreases the stress on plants. It can reduce overall water use by 25 percent while eliminating 15 percent of water-related energy utility expenditure. As a result, a grower of suitable crops can generate more income per acre.

The Dacom TerraSen Station is a solar-powered device that collects data regarding current soil moisture conditions, soil temperature, rainfall, and irrigation at several depths. The information is then automatically transmitted to farmers, who receive relevant irrigation advice for all their crops.

Low-Tech GravityPowered Irrigation Netafim cost-effectively increases smallholder farmers’ water efficiency while improving yields and crop quality. A gravity-based drip irrigation system delivers precise quantities of water and nutrients directly to crop root zones, eliminating excessive water consumption.


Planting Technology for Deserts Using only a one-time dose of 15 liters of water, the Groasis Waterboxx can achieve a crop survival rate of over 90 percent in the most water-scarce environments. The box prevents water from evaporating and collects rain and condensation from its surroundings, releasing only 50 ml each day.

PROTECTION AGAINST MUDSLIDES Better water retention can reduce risk of mudslides and floods downstream because of slow release to downstream channels or storm sewers.

REDUCED RUNOFF Using water-efficient techniques reduces excess runoff from agricultural lands that often contain pesticides, fertilizers, and other substances, thereby reducing oxygen depletion and other negative impacts.

POVERTY ALLEVIATION Investments in efficient irrigation can alleviate poverty by stimulating the rural economy. Greater food production can also keep food prices down despite growing demand.


Reclaiming Wastewater for Irrigation

Affordable Sprinkle Irrigation System

Prompted by the need to protect a lake and natural reserve from municipal wastewater discharges, the City of Orlando and Orange County launched the Conserv II initiative to upgrade treatment systems for groundwater recharge and wastewater reclamation.

iDE's sprinkle irrigation technology is appropriate for use by smallholder farmers where water supply is seasonal or scarce.

This project reclaims 58,000,000m3 of water annually, 60 percent of which is used for irrigation.

Aerial Imaging to Improve Water Use The OverView service by TerrAvion provides farmers with weekly aerial images of their land using specialized cameras capable of capturing thermal and infrared views of crops that can be accessed online. The information can be used to guide decisions regarding irrigation by revealing which areas are receiving too much or too little water.

Effective Rainwater Harvesting In the Machakos District of Kenya, rainwater harvesting techniques for supplemental irrigation achieved increased crop yields of 20 percent, crop diversification for lowering risk, and better nutrition along with higher family incomes, according to UNEP. The project was orchestrated by community groups comprised largely of local women.

It drastically reduces costs relative to alternatives, and is also very water efficient, increases farmer incomes, and creates a return on investment in less than one year.

Reducing competition for water in agriculture can reduce gender disparities. Women typically experience 20 to 40 percent lower yields partly due to their not geting equal access to water resources. Ensuring available water supplies are able to serve all competing local smallholders equally can help to combat this disparity.

DROUGHT RESILIENCE By requiring less water, farms will be more able to cope by continuing to produce during times of drought.

ECOSYSTEM RECOVERY Improved land stewardship can provide habitat value for many species, reducing farmers’ losses to pests, providing windbreaks, and potentially offering regulatory relief.



Global Opportunity Report 2015  
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