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They created water from air, then won $1.5 million for doing it

January 17, 2019

A couple mortgaged their home to fund the development of a technology platform that makes fresh water from air, according a story by Afdhel Aziz published in Forbes magazine. Now, architect David Hertz and his wife, photographer Laura Doss-Hertz and their Skywater/Skysource Alliance have won the prestigious $1.5 million Water Abundance XPRIZE, sponsored by India’s Tata Group and Australian Aid. The XPRIZES incentivizes teams that are tackling some of the world’s most serious problems.

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Source: Irrigation & Green Industry By: Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano

New Opportunities for Soil Moisture Monitoring

January 15, 2019

Given how important water is for growing crops, it’s surprising that technologies providing soil moisture and weather data aren’t more widely used. However, with the new year comes new goals, and what better goal is there than more accurately monitoring crop water needs? The soil moisture monitoring market is saturated (forgive the pun) with hundreds of companies and systems. Many have seen the opportunity in the marketplace and are trying to enter the space.

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Source: Precision Ag By: Nate Dorsey

Integrated pathways for meeting climate targets and ensuring access to safe water

January 11, 2019

Researchers have led work to develop new pathways showing how the world can develop water and energy infrastructure consistent with both the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) — ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

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Source: Science Daily By: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Recent Studies in Deficit Irrigation

December 18, 2018

Deficit irrigation is the generic term for applying less water than the full needs of a crop and can take many forms. It can be a planned, sophisticated strategy or an unplanned fact of life when water scarcity arises. Planned deficit irrigation is widely used with grapes to improve quality. Unplanned deficit irrigation occurs widely on forage crops that depend on diversions from mountain streams as the runoff pulse declines in late summer.

Deficit irrigation has been investigated because economists have long known that maximizing crop yield is not the same as maximizing profits. Less water applied could potentially mean dollar savings in labor, water and other inputs, assuming water savings could be monetized. In theory, a farmer could increase profits by optimizing the use of all of these inputs. More recent studies have begun to examine deficit irrigation as a tool to address water scarcity. The article contains summaries of recent research relating to deficit irrigation.

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Source: Colorado Ag Water Alliance By: NA

New Product Contest winners revealed at Irrigation Show

December 10, 2018

The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, announced the winners of the 2018 New Product Contest at the Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Long Beach, California, Dec. 3-7, 2018. Fifty-eight new products and technologies were entered in five categories.

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Source: Irrigation & Green Industry By: Sarah Bunyea

New Product Contest winners revealed at Irrigation Show

December 10, 2018

The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, announced the winners of the 2018 New Product Contest at the Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Long Beach, California, Dec. 3-7, 2018.

Fifty-eight new products and technologies were entered in five categories. Products were evaluated based on innovation, design quality, increased water/resource-use efficiency, ease of use and product life expectancy. Contest judges were experienced professionals with technical knowledge and industry expertise. The winners were announced Thursday, Dec. 6, during the IA general session.

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Source: Irrigation & Green Industry By: Sarah Bunyea

DWFI Policy team explores sustainable business models to scale Rwanda irrigation efforts

December 3, 2018

This fall, staff at Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) launched a new research project in Rwanda. While Rwanda has an economy that is growing 8 percent each year, much of the population remains in poverty and goes to sleep hungry. As agriculture is the main economic driver in Rwanda, the Rwandan government has recognized the need to develop irrigation as a means to alleviate poverty, increase food security and mitigate risk from climate-induced droughts. Between now and 2024, the Rwandan government hopes to double the area that is irrigated. To achieve this goal, the government has been implementing and evaluating a variety of irrigation methods with farmers. In addition, there is a small but growing entrepreneurial community that is providing agronomic and irrigation services.

That’s where DWFI comes in: this November, Nick Brozović, DWFI director of policy; Caleb Milliken, DWFI program associate; and Vivian Nguyen, DWFI program coordinator; traveled to Rwanda to learn more about the variety of business models being used for smallholder irrigation service provision. The team met with participants in irrigated agriculture, including government leaders, non-government (NGO) staff, entrepreneurs, and smallholder farmers to gain better understanding of what is happening on the ground in Rwanda. An important goal of the research is to use entrepreneurial tools and methods – such as a business model template – to understand the financial sustainability and scaling potential of the diverse range of existing irrigation provision business models.

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Source: Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute By: Vivian Nguyen

Almond Farms Keep Growing, and Keep Moving on Water Conservation

November 16, 2018

California grows 80 percent of the world’s almonds, generating $11 billion annually for the state’s economy. Richard Waycott of the Almond Board of California explains what the industry is doing to use less water and stretch every drop.

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Source: Water Deeply By: Daniel Beaulieu