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Smart Water Management: Addressing California's Water Scarcity through a Soil Moisture Detection Based Irrigation System
  • Simran Karkhanis
Simran Karkhanis

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California's escalating water shortage, aggravated by ongoing climate change and persistent droughts, necessitates urgent action to preserve this valuable resource. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 50 percent of water used for landscape irrigation and agriculture are wasted through evaporation, wind, and runoff due to overwatering of crops1. Equally important is preventing the under watering of crops, as they can face life-threatening conditions amid California's harsh climate. To strike the delicate balance between water conservation and crop health, this paper explores a method employing soil moisture sensors for precise irrigation control. The sensors measure soil water content, enabling targeted water delivery when levels are low and immediate cessation when optimal moisture is achieved. The system is managed through an Arduino microcontroller, which efficiently regulates the irrigation process based on data gathered through the moisture sensors. The Arduino processes the information received and triggers the water supply, delivered through a pump and a hose. A sprinkler attachment at the end of the hose ensures even water distribution across all plant areas, effectively preventing overwatering in any specific spot. The results indicate over a 45 percent decrease in water use while demonstrating healthier plants. This approach presents a promising solution to California's water scarcity while ensuring sustainable crop growth and efficient resource consumption. The future plans involve using solar energy to power the device's batteries and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to detect various factors such as plant species, soil type, terrain, and real-time weather conditions. By leveraging these advanced technologies, the research aims to transform irrigation management for enhanced water efficiency and environmental sustainability concerning California's agricultural practices.
11 Feb 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
14 Feb 2024Published in TechRxiv