Emerging Technologies to Relieve Drought

Drought in California

Drought is without a doubt one of the biggest problems facing the United States. Otherwise financially powerful states like California have been hit by drought for years, and the solution to this problem, many say will come from technology. There are some intriguing solutions that are being suggested in the market today. With around 45% of California in a state of drought, the water crisis is showing no signs of abating naturally.

Technology could be the answer not only to droughts in California, but droughts worldwide. What, though, are the most interesting emerging technologies to be in development?

Strips Drip

An intriguing solution that falls under the Strips Drip project developed by Sensative, a Swedish company, this could be very exciting. It would use a sensor and scanner solution that would look for ways to spot problems with water supplies. For example, leaky pipes and damaged mains could be spotted much quicker than they can today, meaning that water can be fixed and turned back on to places where water should be plentiful, but the piping has failed.

Microdrip Irrigation

One solution that has grown to become very interesting is the use of microdrip irrigations. Drip irrigation delivers water right to the root of a plant, ensuring that watering plants reduces water waste by an incredible level. Drip irrigation, though, is expensive to implement due to the cost required to power and use the pumps.

The solution, instead, comes from Uri Shani. The N-Drip solution he has developed will allow for improved efficiency without the need for electrically powered pumps. Instead, this uses a specific emitter that uses gravity to power the water through the pipes to the roots.

Wave Desalination

Desalination has long been seen as one way to use water that would otherwise not be suitable for consumption or usage. However, these can be extremely expensive to run and most still utilize some form of fossil fuel energy. One solution has been developed by a Boston startup group, known as Resolute Marine Energy.

They have found a solution to turn water into a safely drinkable source by using ocean and wave power over instead of fossil fuels. Desalination is seen as essential, but the powering costs and methods have long put people off. This offers a reasonable, effective alternative.

Cloud Seeding

Another option that is growing in popularity is the idea of cloud seeding. This is the process of adding silver iodide and others into the clouds above us to help try and force rain and/or snow. It has been used for decades and is common across the western US. However, it feels that the chemicals are literally falling back down on people, and into our crops, drinking water etc.

In the United Arab Emirates, though, drones are zapping clouds with an electrical charge that can create rainfall. In the UAE, it has helped to boost rainfall by as much as 35%, which could be essential to combatting water scarcity in other parts of the world outside the Middle East.

The problem with drought has long been that we simply lacked the technology to solve the issue without creating another problem. The above innovations, though, show that we are closer than ever to creating a meaningful solution.





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