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15.03.17 - ICT for smart water management

In a context of climate change and growing pressure surrounding water resources, CODEV, along with its North and South partners, from private sector businesses and universities in Switzerland, Burkina Faso and Palestine, is launching the third phase of the Info4Dourou2.0 project, which aims to develop technology to support irrigation for family farming in arid and semi-arid regions.

Know the water needs of crops to better manage irrigation

Autonomous, robust and tailored to extreme climate conditions, the flexible, wireless sensor network measures and transmits eco-hydrologic data using a simple format: when the soil gets too dry, famers receive a text message alert telling them it’s time to irrigate. The information is also available on the Internet for remote users (1). The technology, which has been tested throughout Burkina Faso in combination with a drip system since 2012, allows for significant water savings while improving production (2),(3), and has received positive ratings from farmers. It has likewise been tested in Palestine since 2016. 

Improve food security, mitigate climate change

Phase 3 of Info4Dourou2.0 focuses on wider use of this irrigation management system for improving food security and helping to sustainably manage water resources and in adapting to different climate change scenarios. Research is underway to generalize the system for surface irrigation and watering cans to have a stronger impact on farmers’ quality of life.

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: a holistic and cross-disciplinary approach towards appropriate technology

CODEV highlights the need for cross-disciplinary, holistic approach to developing appropriate, state-of-the-art technologies that must be tailored not only to users’ needs and to the extreme climate conditions in countries where they are used, but also whose sustainable production cycle guarantees their accessibility in the long term. Putting these technologies on the market, including local production, assembly and maintenance, is a key element to sustainable appropriation. The challenge now for Info4Dourou2.0 is the transfer of “Swiss made” technology to a sustainable, local solution.

Do your internship in Burkina Faso or Palestine!

Info4Dourou2.0 offers 4-6 month internships in Burkina Faso and Palestine, in partnership with the EPFL association Ingénieurs du Monde: http://idm.epfl.ch/stages/trouver-un-stage/. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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(1) Sensorscope sarl: www.climaps.com

(2) T. Mueller, P. Perona and C. R. Bouleau. Optimizing drip irrigation for eggplant crops in semi-arid zones using evolving thresholds, in Agricultural Water Management, vol. 177, p. 54-65, 2016.

(3) C. Ranquet Bouleau, T. Baracchini, G. Barrenenetxea, A. Repetti and J.-C. Bolay. Low-cost wireless sensor networks for dryland irrigation agriculture in Burkina Faso, in Technologies for Development. What is Essential?, 2015.

Author:Clémence BouleauSource:Cooperation
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