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Top Irrigation Innovations: Saving Water in the 21st Century with Technology

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American household uses as much as 320 gallons of water every day. Around 30 percent of this is used outdoors, mostly for watering gardens and lawns. That’s a total of 9 billion gallons of residential water used each day on landscape irrigation.

The History of Sprinkler Systems

The sprinkler system’s history is intertwined with the development of municipal water supplies and dates back to ancient Rome, where water was first brought from aqueducts to homes and public places. Moving forward, in the late 16th century, waterwheels were used to move water in Europe. Although Hero of Alexandria invented a steam engine type of sprinkler in the first century, it wasn’t until many centuries later that a system was developed that could effectively spray water onto crops and gardens.

During the 18th and 19th century, steam pumps were fabricated so that major cities could have water delivered by means of pressurized systems. Wealthy families, who had extensive gardens to upkeep, wanted a way to maintain their landscapes during times when there was little rain. Though steam-powered pumps attached to hoses were used to spray plants at a distance, there was still no successful sprinkler delivery system.

It wasn’t until 1871 that New York native J. Lessler patented the very first water-propelled, fixed-head lawn sprinkler. This development was followed shortly by rotating-head sprinklers. By the turn of the 20th century, sprinkler heads had become sophisticated enough to spray an arc of water from heads made of aluminium and rubber. Some had the ability to spray water over a distance of 600 square feet. Agricultural sprinkler systems operated differently. They used rain-gun sprinklers which pushed water at high pressure. This type of system was above ground and used hydraulics or electricity to move it.

In the 20th century, underground sprinkler system arrived on the scene. These buried systems had the ability to cover separate zones of large landscapes and could be put on a coordinated programmable timer system. Such systems can be electrically or hydraulically operated, and some can compensate for rainfall and runoff.

Sprinklers and Modern Technology

These days, Professional Irrigation Systems are being designed with more sophistication, so they can use technology to actually help households and other facilities to conserve water. These innovative changes include features like moisture sensitivity controls. This means a system is able to detect the moisture level in the soil. If it finds there’s moisture present, it can switch off, saving water and energy. Irrigation systems can also be connected to WIFI so controlling them at a distance can be facilitated. This also enables maintenance checks to be performed remotely.

When you have a large landscape, such as a golf course, that needs watering regularly, things can get tricky. Fortunately, thanks to technology, computerized solutions for irrigation now exist. For example, a computerized control system running specialized software can enable a golf course groundskeeper to operate an irrigation system from a centralized office. This enables the controller to manipulate the system right down to individual sprinkler heads. Graphic displays show details of water distribution throughout the golf course and start and stop times can be programmed and adjusted at the touch of a button. Some software solutions allow for spraying times to be automatically adjusted depending on rainfall. These are ideal not only for golf courses, but also colleges, sports fields, resorts, cemeteries, property developments and parks. This type of irrigation management system saves time because it also enables the controller to easily see if maintenance is needed to fix damaged water lines or ruptured sprinklers. Changes can be made to modify these instances in a matter of seconds so that the problems can be fixed.

Moisture Sensing Technology

For farmers, irrigation is a big issue and needs to be handled efficiently. In-field moisture sensors can measure how much water soil is holding and how much of it is available for crops. This enables farmers to calculate exactly how much water is needed in a certain area and to manage irrigation as the crops grow. The sensors measure the water availability at different depths in the soil and transmit the information to computers and mobile devices.

Now is a great time to look into irrigation management systems and water sensors, particularly if you are involved in maintaining large landscapes or in agriculture. Water conservation is a growing concern throughout the world and one that must not be taken lightly. New developments in technology are helping to make this process much easier than ever before.

Holly Lewis is a garden designer with a passion for eco-living. She encourages her clients to lead a green lifestyle and can point them in the right direction through her garden services. She provides more tips and thoughts on living green in her articles.

 

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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