Yesterday, we had Jo’s article about the Bold Berlin event with the theme ‘Water’ taking the spotlight in the first of this monthly series. Assuming we are aware of how scarce and valuable clean water is (70 percent of the freshwater available on the planet is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland), what about some hands-on SMART ways to reduce our household water consumption, and at the same time save our monthly water bills by 60 percent?
According to a 2007 report from the IPCC, only about 30 percent of available freshwater is available for consumption (equal to only 0.7 percent of total water resources worldwide). From this remaining 0.7 percent, roughly 87 percent is allocated to agricultural purposes - irrigation. Traditional irrigation systems, like sprinklers, that have inefficient irrigation controllers do not help reduce water use while watering our lawn. Alternatives, like rainwater collection, require extra establishment costs for example to install a water tank, pipes and pumping systems to divert rainwater for household use. In this high-technology world, we need smart appliances and gadgets to help reduce house water consumption.
Hydros is a smart irrigation system that uses sensors, regional weather forecasts, and smart algorithms to conserve water, it can be an alternative option to help you ‘computerise’ an optimal watering schedule.
According to the specifications, Hydros consists of a series of sensors, which are inserted into the ground in each watering zone (up to 12 zones) to monitor soil moisture, temperature, and light conditions, connecting to a controller, which connects wirelessly to the sensors and the home's WiFi network to control the timing and duration of watering.
The controller ‘OpenSprinkler’ acts as the brain and formulates the duration and frequency of when your sprinklers need to run based on the type and conditions of your grass and soil, and even factors in the weather forecast. With the help of sensors, the system measures and monitors weather updates and makes adjustments to the watering schedule. A user-friendly feature of Hydros is that the sensors can be hidden beneath the lawn which enables users to be able to mow their lawn without removing the devices. Users can control the irrigation system remotely with an accompanying app for phones and tablets that enable you to gather data on moisture, temperature and light from the sensors installed in your garden.
Hydros is currently running a pledge on Kickstarter until mid- August 2014, and claim that the eco-friendly features can reduce your water bill up to 60 percent and recover your investment in as little as four months.