The World is ever-changing.  The first evidence of man moving water to irrigate a crop dates back to 1800BCE, and since then, the population has grown by a mind boggling amount.

Today, there are around 7.1 billion people on this planet, and every single one of us requires two things before anything else: food and water (though I must admit, I don’t think I could live without my morning coffee!).

Irrigation and world Population Image Source: Wikipedia

Irrigation technology up until the 20th Century did not progress rapidly, and that still is the case today. For instance, Simcha Blass installed the first pilot Drip System in 1959, yet less than 10% of farmers in the U.S use drip irrigation today. Drip irrigation systems can use up to 65% less water than flood (or Gravity Feed), which is the most widely used method of irrigation in the U.S currently.

The savings is a big deal, but yielding double digit percentage gains in the producers tons per acre, coupled with the water savings, equals more food and water available, as well as less expensive food and water across the board.

In developed countries, the world is meeting food production demand, but at ever-increasing costs. The smaller farmers are struggling to be profitable because of their small margins, and small economies of scale. It is at these levels we need to be concerned.

How is Motorola solving these problems?

In a basic explanation, we are taking thousands of bits of data and turning them into an action when the action is needed. For example, irrigating at 2:30AM for 22 minutes at 850 GPM or until moisture reaches 25% for zone 1. Automated Water Management gives the crop what it needs, when it needs it. No more, and no less. This isn’t just water, it’s fertilizer, temperature adjustments, and pressure management to name a few. Farmers experience reduced operational costs, reduced resource expenditure, and increased yields!floodirrigation

Most farmers today are still irrigating the way they did 45 years ago. The problem is that there were 3.62 billion people in 1969, and today we have nearly twice as many people to feed. Population will grow, water supply will stay the same, and adopting new technology will become necessary to provide enough food, and conserve enough water to drink and grow the food for the global population.

What do you think the future will hold to feed our growing world?