Water your garden efficiently, even when you're away
Smartphone app helps users conserve by tailoring watering cycles to current weather conditions.
As most gardeners know, over-watering plants can be as detrimental as under-watering them, not to mention the waste involved in using water when it's not needed. But even with automatically timed sprinklers, your watering system is probably not equipped to respond to changing weather conditions when you're away from home.
A new app called The Smart Garden Hub lets you regulate the watering schedule of your garden from your phone, adjusting and scheduling irrigation based on forecasts and changing conditions. The app takes temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, barometric pressure and sun radiation into account to assess your garden’s needs. It can even turn off garden lights based on sunrise and sunset schedules.
The system connects to Wi-Fi to collect detailed weather information from the weather station nearest you. It then processes the information into efficient watering plans, controlling your sprinklers accordingly, says Odi Dahan, CEO of Israel's Green IQ, which developed the app.
“On very hot days, it will execute full watering cycles, while on cooler, cloudy days it will reduce the amount of water. On rainy days there will be no watering at all.”
If you want to take it a step further, the app can be combined with Flower Power sensors that personalize watering not just to your general area, but to your particular garden plot. Parrot, a French company, partnered with GreenIQ to measure your garden’s watering needs in real time. The embedded sensors are connected to the “FlowerPower Cloud” which includes 7,000 types of plants. The sensor then communicates to the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub to water a particular zone of your garden, conserving water and electricity.
The system is an extension of Dahan’s lifelong interest in water conservation.
“I was born in Israel, and lived there my entire life. Water scarcity is part of our life, and Israel became a leader for innovative water-preservation solutions,” he said. “Given this background, I was sitting at home on a cold rainy day, as I heard my sprinkler turning on. I thought that in the age of mobile, there must be a solution to remotely shut it down with an app.”
Due to an arid climate and the necessity to conserve water, Israel is light years ahead of other nations in management of water resources. Farmers abandoned the practice of flooding the fields in the 1960s in favor of drip irrigation, which reduces the amount of water lost in evaporation. Drip irrigation nourishes a plant’s root much more efficiently and produces higher crop yields than conventional irrigation.
Additionally, while many other countries dispose of their liquid sewage, in Israel, approximately 80 percent of it is treated and reused in agriculture and 85 percent of wastewater is recycled. Meanwhile, efficient desalination plants have allowed salt water to source half the nation’s drinkable water. In per capita water consumption, Israel is one of the lowest of all developed nations, with Israelis using just 87 gallons of water per day, about half as much as used per person in the U.S.
Dahan envisions a world where 3D maps measure soil moisture on a global scale with “sophisticated soil scanning technologies, image processing to analyze plants health and advanced mechanical/robotic capabilities for the precise 3D irrigation.”
But, for now, those interested in conserving water while keeping their gardens lush and healthy can check out the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub to water efficiently from afar.
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