Nav: Home

Artificial intelligence saves water for water users associations

July 23, 2018

Agriculture uses 70% of the water in the world and this appears to be an upward trend regarding water needs. In this context in which the demand in other industry sectors is increasing as well and the effects of climate change influence ever-increasing water shortages, water saving measures have become an unavoidable challenge if we want to maintain the sector and preserve life.

This is the challenge taken on by Agronomy Department researcher Rafael González when developing a model able to predict in advance the water that each water user will need each day. Therefore, this tool came about from a drive to ally with water resource sustainability.

What is innovative about this model lies in the application of artificial intelligence techniques such as fuzzy logic, a system used to explain the behavior of decision making. In this case, it mixes variables that are easier to measure, like agroclimatic ones or the size of the plot of land to be watered, with other more complicated variables, like traditional methods in the area and holidays during watering season.

The FIS model (a fuzzy logic system) translates input variables (temperature, humidity, etc.) to the language its rules work by. By applying genetic algorithms, optimal curves are established for those input parameters, and via neural networks, the relationship between them is established. As a result, the applied irrigation depth is deduced to establish how many millimeters will be used by each water user.

This tool aims to curb the varying demand of water. By doing so, water users associations will be able to use their water supply in a more organized and accurate way, anticipate pump station adaptation issues and effectively organize maintenance and fault repair tasks without wasting water or affecting irrigated areas.

The prospect of preempting water demand also allows for hiring staff and contracting electric service only when strictly necessary, optimizing these resources while also being cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

How is this data obtained?

The creation of this tool translates into a change in the management of water users associations, based on knowledge and information. In the past, this management was primarily based on intuition or what had been done other years. Instead, now these associations can rely on accurate information.

But where does this information come from? In this case, to determine how the different use for different crops can influence the accuracy of the model, Rafael González used data from a remote control system of a Canal del Zújar water users association for corn, rice and tomato crops. In this way, the feasibility of remote control and telemetry systems are evident.

To date, the data generated by these systems were used basically to charge each user in the network for how much water they used, whereas with this system all the measurements generated are used to forecast. Therefore, the model that González came up with is cause for reconsideration of the measuring systems used by water users associations, satisfying not only skilled workers and managerment at water users associations but also innovative companies in the field of telemetry. All of this is done while keeping in mind the worldwide effort to save water.
-end-
References:

González Perea, R, Camacho Poyato, E., Montesinos, P., Rodríguez-Díaz, J.A., (2018) Prediction of applied irrigation depths at farm level using artificial intelligence techniques. Agricultural Water Management, 206, pp 229-240. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2018.05.019

University of Córdoba

Related Water Articles:

Water, water, nowhere
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have found that the unusual properties of graphane -- a two-dimensional polymer of carbon and hydrogen -- could form a type of anhydrous 'bucket brigade' that transports protons without the need for water, potentially leading to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles and other energy systems.
Advantage: Water
When water comes in for a landing on the common catalyst titanium oxide, it splits into hydroxyls just under half the time.
What's really in the water
Through a five-year, $500,000 CAREEER Award from the National Science Foundation, a civil and environmental engineering research group at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering will be developing new DNA sequencing methods to directly measure viral loads in water and better indicate potential threats to human health.
Jumping water striders know how to avoid breaking of the water surface
When escaping from attacking predators, different water strider species adjust their jump performance to their mass and morphology in order to jump off the water as fast and soon as possible without breaking of the water surface.
Water, water -- the two types of liquid water
There are two types of liquid water, according to research carried out by an international scientific collaboration.
Just add water? New MRI technique shows what drinking water does to your appetite, stomach and brain
Stomach MRI images combined with functional fMRI of the brain activity have provided scientists new insight into how the brain listens to the stomach during eating.
UM researchers found shallow-water corals are not related to their deep-water counterparts
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that shallow-reef corals are more closely related to their shallow-water counterparts over a thousand miles away than they are to deep-water corals on the same reef.
Saline water better than soap and water for cleaning wounds, researchers find
Researchers found that very low water pressure was an acceptable, low-cost alternative for washing out open fractures, and that the reoperation rate was higher in the group that used soap.
UTA research predicting lake levels, moving water to yield better data for water providers
A University of Texas at Arlington environmental engineer is creating an integrated decision support tool for optimal operation of water supply systems that will allow water providers to make better decisions about when to turn on pumps to transfer water from one reservoir system to another and when to release water downstream from the reservoirs.
Surfing water molecules could hold the key to fast and controllable water transport
Scientists at UCL have identified a new and potentially faster way of moving molecules across the surfaces of certain materials.

Related Water Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".