July is Smart Irrigation Month, because it’s typically been the peak period of outdoor water usage in the United States, the non-profit Irrigation Association launched the annual Smart Irrigation Month observance in July 2005 to promote water efficiency through water-saving technologies. The Irrigation Association encourages the use of Smart Irrigation Systems.
This year in 2021, the Irrigation Association has announced that the theme for Smart Irrigation Month is “Smart irrigation. Sustainable solutions”. It was chosen to raise awareness of the technology solutions in both agriculture and landscape irrigation for meeting resource challenges we’re currently facing around the country. Despite the stories of drought and water scarcity dominating the news this summer, there’s still a lack of understanding by farmers, growers, municipalities, businesses, and property owners on viable options for adapting in response.
The appeal of smart irrigation systems for agriculture.
Modern irrigation technologies like Jain Logic™ equip farmers with the information they need to know when and how long to irrigate. They can input variables like crop water needs and soil type while scheduling programs that monitor local weather conditions and soil moisture.
Good data gives growers the information necessary to irrigate with precision, minimizing stress from over-or under-watering. Here is an article from Reason Farms, where they improved their yield with good data provided by AgTech. With a finger on the pulse of a crop’s water needs, crop quality is improved, and yields maximized for ‘more crop per drop.’
By only irrigating enough to reach the root zones of crops, excess water doesn’t run off into nearby streams. This water can leach crop nutrients and chemicals into freshwater sources and contaminate critical habitats.
Besides saving water and increasing yield, farmers can save on pumping energy costs and wear and tear their irrigation systems. And the higher yield and crop quality will contribute to increased profitability of the business.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we know that some places are becoming more drought-prone and may eventually have reduced access to water resources. So the sooner agriculture can move toward greater efficiency in growing our food, the more prepared we’ll be for whatever the future brings.
The clear benefits to investing in sustainable solutions for landscaping
Without wasting water, these systems use technology to know when and how much to irrigate to:
- Save water. Smart systems automatically suspend watering during rain, freezing, or high wind conditions. Careful scheduling minimizes evaporation and encourages water to soak in, reducing the total amount of water needed. In addition, preventing overwatering keeps plants healthier by encouraging stronger roots and discouraging weeds, disease, and fungus growth.
- Save money. Smart systems can reduce your annual water bill by as much as 30-50 percent by preventing water waste. Plus, many local water providers offer rebates for purchasing specific smart controllers.
- Save time. Once your site data is programmed into the smart system, the controller adjusts the watering schedule based upon weather conditions and soil moisture without manual intervention.
- Add convenience. Smart controllers adapt to seasonal weather changes without requiring reprogramming. And their “set and forget” technology is perfect for complying with any local watering restrictions, as well as for frequent travelers and vacation or second homes.
And you may be able to retrofit your current irrigation system with a smart controller. One size does not fit all, so consult with a certified irrigation professional when you’re ready to upgrade to a smart irrigation system.
JAIN has been at the forefront of innovation in smart irrigation technologies, from JAIN Logic in agriculture that maximizes water-use efficiency for global food production to JAIN Unity in commercial landscaping that saves the most water for the good of the communities where we live. If you ever would like to explore the options for a smart irrigation technology upgrade, we hope you’ll think of JAIN. We’d be more than happy to speak with you and assist in meeting your water conservation objectives.