Winter may be in full swing in the US, but thoughts of spring, with its lush green lawns and landscaping, newly planted gardens, and the geometric wonders of freshly-turned fields, are all taking seed alongside plans for 2018 household, business, and farm budgets due to new AI technology.
In a press release, ConserWater Web announced their US launch of a desktop or mobile app using AI to predict how much water a lawn or plants need, improving irrigation water efficiency by 30%. Since this technology is scalable to lawns, landscapes, and farms of any size, the user logs in and in a few seconds has the exact amount of time to set their sprinklers for optimal watering, all based on NASA satellite data, weather data, topography, and a patent-pending geospatial deep learning technology to predict irrigation water needs. Without any hardware, the predictions are localized to the user’s exact location, anywhere in the world, as if there was a $500 soil moisture sensor every 10 feet in the ground.
For small farmers, their Basic version, a free ad-supported smartphone app is attempting to expand precision agriculture beyond developed countries, to hundreds of millions of farmers in developing countries.
The ConserWater Web project comes from the work of Aadith Moorthy, Founder of ConserWater Technologies, and winner of the India Abroad Special Achievement Award in June 2011 in recognition of successes in representing the Indian-American community in national competitions.
The mentor for the ConserWater Web project is Vaibhav Lodha, Co-Founder at ftcash, one of India’s fastest growing FINTECH businesses and backed by PayPal. Vaibhav Lodha has been an entrepreneur in the water and AgTech space for over a decade. “Previously, he was a Director, Global Development at XPRIZE, leading World’s first global prize that targets the problem of access to water. Vaibhav has spent the last decade working in the areas of policy and development across over 5 countries and 20 states in India.”
The efforts by ConserWater come at a time when water wastage is consuming the planet. In 2014, the EPA outlined, “if the average sized lawn in the United States is watered for 20 minutes every day for 7 days, it’s like running the shower constantly for 4 days or taking more than 800 showers. That’s equivalent to the amount of water needed for the average family to take 1 year’s worth of showers.” For lawn sprinklers, their news is not much better: “As much as 50 percent of the water we use outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. A household with an automatic landscape irrigation system that isn’t properly maintained and operated can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water annually.”